Lee Boyd Malvo, convicted more than 15 years ago for a string of shootings that claimed 10 lives and terrorized the D.C. region for weeks, must be granted a new sentencing hearing, a judge ruled Thursday.
A Virginia appeals court ruling of 3-0 alluded to the hearing after confirming that several of Malvo’s sentences without parole have to be vacated.
“To be clear, the crimes committed by Malvo and [accomplice] John Muhammad were the most heinous, random acts of premeditated violence conceivable, destroying lives and families and terrorizing the entire Washington, D.C. metropolitan area for over six weeks, instilling mortal fear daily in the citizens of that community,” Judge Paul Niemeyer wrote. “But Malvo was 17 years old when he committed the murders, and he now has the retroactive benefit of new constitutional rules that treat juveniles differently for sentencing.”
Malvo, 33, who remains incarcerated for his role in the 2002 killings, was tried as a juvenile and given 10 life sentences for four murders in Virginia and six in Maryland. John Allen Muhammad, 48, was executed in 2009.
Thursday’s decision does not apply to Malvo’s life sentence terms in Maryland, which a Montgomery County judge allowed to stand in August.