Judge rejects a request to reconsider dismissal of 2nd Muhammad murder case

October 06, 2004|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

FAIRFAX, Va. - The judge in what would have been the second capital murder trial of convicted sniper John Allen Muhammad denied yesterday prosecutors' request to reconsider his dismissal of their case.

Fairfax County Circuit Judge M. Langhorne Keith ended the high-profile case Friday when he ruled that prosecutors failed to try Muhammad within five months of their January request that Prince William County, Va., jailers hold him on the Fairfax County charges. Prosecutors immediately asked the judge to reconsider his decision.

The judge's ruling cannot be appealed to a higher court because there is no constitutional issue, legal experts said.

Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Horan Jr. was seeking the death penalty on charges that Muhammad killed FBI analyst Linda Franklin, 47, in the parking lot of a Home Depot store two years ago.

Muhammad, 51, faces two death sentences in the fatal shooting of engineer Dean Harold Meyers, 53, of Gaithersburg, at a Manassas, Va., gas station, during the sniper rampage that claimed 10 lives in the Washington area in October 2002.

Muhammad could still be tried for murder in Maryland, Alabama and Louisiana.

The other convicted sniper, Jamaican teenager Lee Boyd Malvo, was sentenced late last year to life without parole in Franklin's killing in Fairfax.

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