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Thursday, 7 November, 2002, 08:38 GMT
New charge for sniper suspects
Artist's sketch of John Allen Muhammad appearing in court
John Allen Muhammad already faces multiple charges
A prosecutor in the United States has charged sniper suspects John Allen Muhammad and John Lee Malvo with the murder of an FBI analyst on 14 October.

Robert F Horan Jr, attorney in Fairfax County, Virginia, said he believed he had enough evidence to go to trial immediately.

Linda Franklin
Franklin was shot down in full view of her husband
Both Mr Muhammad, 41, and his 17-year-old co-accused already face charges related to 17 shootings in four states - a series of attacks mainly this October which struck terror into the Washington DC area.

Linda Franklin was killed by a single shot as she loaded her car with shopping in car park in Falls Church, Virginia - seven miles from the US capital.

The two suspects were both charged with capital murder as well as using a firearm in the commission of a felony.

They were arrested on 24 October after being found sleeping in a car allegedly rigged out to provide a sniper's platform.

'Appropriate penalties'

With charges laid in four states, it is still unclear where the two will stand trial first.


I believe appropriate penalties... to include... the death penalty

US Attorney General John Ashcroft
US Attorney General John Ashcroft is expected to decide the issue, which has implications for whether the death penalty may be invoked for the younger suspect.

He told reporters on Wednesday that he would take a decision after a "fact-driven analysis" of the legal possibilities.

"I think it's well-understood on my part that I believe appropriate penalties for the kinds of atrocities that have been committed to include the ultimate sanction of the death penalty," he said.


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15 Oct 02 | Americas
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