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17-year-old sniper suspect appears in court

Tuesday, November 5, 2002

GREENBELT, Md. -- The 17-year-old sniper suspect appeared before a federal judge for a closed juvenile hearing Monday as investigators looked into whether two more shootings are linked to a spree that left 10 dead.

Police around the country have been reviewing unsolved shootings to see if they are connected to John Muhammad, 41, and John Malvo, 17, who were arrested Oct. 24 in Maryland.

The wounding of two people in separate holdups, one outside a liquor store and the other outside a restaurant, could be connected with the string of sniper attacks that terrorized the region, Prince George's County police said. Both shootings took place in Clinton, the same Washington suburb where Muhammad's ex-wife lives.

In addition to the sniper shootings in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., the two have been charged with slayings in Louisiana and Alabama, and are suspects in two shootings, one fatal, in Washington state.

Federal prosecutors filed charges against Muhammad last week under weapons and extortion laws that could bring the death penalty. Federal charges have also apparently been brought against Malvo, but authorities will not say so because he is a juvenile.

Malvo had a closed detention hearing in front of a U.S. Magistrate Judge James K. Bredar in Baltimore.

Court clerk Felicia Cannon said Malvo was ordered detained, and the orders and records were sealed.

Malvo attorney Joshua Treem said "the juvenile was ordered detained. I can't address anything more than what I've said. I'm sorry."

Muhammad is scheduled to appear today at a detention hearing in federal court in Greenbelt.


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