Judge rejects life sentence without parole for Jamaican ‘D.C. sniper’

Multiple life without parole sentences for Jamaican-born Lee Boyd Malvo, who 15 years ago participated in sniper attacks that killed 10 people and terrorized residents of the Washington, D.C. area in the United States, have been overturned.

malvo smlLast month, a U.S. federal judge threw out Malvo’s sentences because he was 17 when the killings were committed in Oct. 2002.

In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that mandatory life sentences without of parole were unconstitutional for juveniles. The highest court in the U.S. allowed the ruling to be applied retroactively.

Therefore, although Malvo pleaded guilty in Spotsylvania County, Virginia and agreed to serve two life sentences without parole, and was also convicted by a jury and sentenced to two life sentences in Chesapeake, Virginia, all his sentences were vacated last month. U.S. District Court Judge Raymond A. Jackson ordered Malvo be re-sentenced in both courts.


Malvo had also received six life sentences in Maryland, where he admitted to committing six murders in that state. Jackson’s ruling does not apply to those cases, although Malvo’s attorneys are appealing those sentences on the same grounds. The cases are scheduled to be heard this month.

Despite Jackson’s ruling, Malvo could still receive life sentences. However, based on the Supreme Court ruling, “sentencing a child to life without parole is excessive for all but ‘the rare juvenile offender whose crime reflects irreparable corruption.’”


Jackson’s ruling is also subject to appeal by the attorney general of Virginia, which could put off Malvo’s re-sentencing.

Malvo, now 32, is guilty of partnering with John Allen Muhammad to carry out the killings. The crime spree, committed over a three-week period, drove fear into residents of the Washington, D.C. area

In 2009 Muhammad was executed for his role in the crimes. However, a jury in Chesapeake spared Malvo the death penalty for the killing of Linda Franklin. In Mar. 2004 the judge gave him a life sentence instead.

Meanwhile, Malvo, remains at Red Onion State Prison in Virginia where, according to a report in the Jamaica Star newspaper quoting his mother Una James, he is studying to become a pastor.