Court sets execution date for DC sniper mastermind

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Virginia judge on Wednesday set a Nov. 10
execution date for John Allen Muhammad, mastermind of the 2002
sniper attacks in the Washington, D.C., area that left 10 dead.

The attorney general's office last week requested that the
execution be on Nov. 9, but Prince William County Circuit Judge
Mary Grace O'Brien chose a day later. The date, which falls on a
Tuesday, was picked so courts would be open the day before in case
they have to take up last-minute appeals, said Jonathan Sheldon,
Muhammad's attorney.

The date was picked during an early morning conference call with
the judge, the attorney general's office and Sheldon.

Sheldon said Muhammad will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court and
ask Gov. Timothy M. Kaine for clemency.

Muhammad was sentenced to death for the slaying of Dean Meyers,
one of 10 people shot to death during a 2002 rampage that
terrorized the Washington, D.C., area. Muhammad and teenage
accomplice Lee Boyd Malvo killed six people in Alabama and
Louisiana before moving on to Maryland, D.C. and Virginia, where
Meyers was shot at a Manassas gas station. Six others were wounded.

Malvo is serving life in prison for the shooting spree.

Last month a federal appeals court rejected Muhammad's argument
that prosecutors withheld critical evidence and that Muhammad never
should have been allowed to act as his own attorney for a portion
of his trial because he was too mentally impaired.

The attorney general's office said it was preparing a statement
Wednesday.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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