Psychiatrists Tell Jury Malvo Legally Insane; Sniper Suspect 'Merged with Muhammad'

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), December 11, 2003 | Go to article overview

Psychiatrists Tell Jury Malvo Legally Insane; Sniper Suspect 'Merged with Muhammad'


Byline: S.A. Miller, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - Defense attorneys for Lee Boyd Malvo presented expert testimony for the first time yesterday that he was legally insane when he took part in last year's sniper attacks in the Washington area.

Forensic psychiatrists Neil Blumberg and Diane H. Schetky testified that the teenage sniper suspect could not tell right from wrong because his identity was fused with that of convicted sniper John Allen Muhammad.

"He was merged with Mr. Muhammad," Dr. Blumberg said. "He was acting as his proxy. They were one in the same. He was like a puppet in [Muhammad's] hands."

The inability to tell right from wrong is the legal standard for insanity in Virginia, and the psychiatrists' testimony formed the linchpin for Mr. Malvo's insanity defense. They said the defendant was brainwashed by Muhammad, 42, and was not criminally responsible for his role in the October 2002 shootings that left 10 dead and three wounded.

"He's basically a soldier in Muhammad's war against America," said Dr. Blumberg, who interviewed the defendant 20 times. "He doesn't see the enormity of what he is doing, that lives are being lost."

The diagnosis capped 10 days of testimony by defense witnesses and came midway through the fifth week of the trial. Defense attorneys had hoped to rest their case yesterday, but extensive cross-examination by Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Horan Jr. extended the defense case to today.

The defense does not plan to call anymore witnesses and likely will rest this morning.

The case could go to the jury by Monday, after testimony by two mental-health experts for the prosecution to rebut the insanity defense and the presentation of closing arguments by both sides.

Dr. Blumberg and Dr. Schetky testified that Mr. Malvo, 18, suffered the mental disorder specifically during the Oct. 14, 2002, slaying of FBI analyst Linda Franklin, 47, outside a Home Depot store in Falls Church.

The teenager is being tried on two counts of capital murder in Mrs. Franklin's death - one count under Virginia's new antiterrorism law, the other under a serial-killer law. He also is charged with using a firearm in the commission of a felony.

A Virginia Beach jury recommended that Muhammad be executed for murdering Dean Harold Meyers, 53, at a Manassas gas station Oct. 9, 2002. Muhammad also was convicted of conspiracy and illegal use of a firearm.

Yesterday, the two psychiatrists provided testimony that detracted from what is perhaps the most damaging evidence against the teenager - his audiotaped confessions to police in which he laughs and chuckles while claiming responsibility for at least eight of the Washington-area shootings.

Both doctors said the defendant often exhibited "frequent inappropriate laughter" and a childlike inability to fathom serious topics. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Psychiatrists Tell Jury Malvo Legally Insane; Sniper Suspect 'Merged with Muhammad'
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.