- Cape student sues, accuses school officials of slamming her to ground multiple times (04/28/16)45
- Bob Evans restaurant in Cape Girardeau among chain's 21 closings (04/26/16)9
- Missouri House votes to allow concealed weapons without permits (04/28/16)6
- Two hurt in motorcycle wreck on Interstate 55 (04/25/16)1
- Law firm requests information about Cape's traffic cameras (04/25/16)2
- Local lawmakers split over failed medical marijuana bill; voters may have a say (04/26/16)19
- Police report filed, but no charges in incident at Cape Central (04/29/16)35
- Tanker truck catches fire near Oak Ridge (04/24/16)7
- Local company makes eco-friendly kitty litter that cuts cat-box smell (04/25/16)
- Senator introduces bill for I-57 that would connect Sikeston with Little Rock (04/28/16)4
Sniper suspect's attorney says extortion charges hide weak case
GREENBELT, Md. -- John Allen Muhammad's lawyer derided the government's extortion charges against the sniper suspect Tuesday, accusing prosecutors of overreaching in order to make a federal case out of the murder spree.
The lawyer's claims came as a federal judge ordered the 41-year-old Muhammad held without bail.
Federal prosecutors brought charges against Muhammad last week under weapons and extortion law in the October sniper attacks that killed 10 people in the Washington, D.C., area. He could get the death penalty.
In court, federal public defender James Wyda accused prosecutors of trying to "shoehorn this case into federal courts" in using the extortion law. He said the government is trying to prove that "these seemingly random attacks were all motivated by a crackpot scheme to collect $10 million."
Wyda noted that authorities did not even receive a note demanding the money until Oct. 19, well into the shooting spree.
The other sniper suspect, 17-year-old John Lee Malvo, was ordered detained Monday after appearing at a closed juvenile hearing in federal court in Baltimore. Federal charges have also apparently been brought against Malvo, but authorities will not say so because he is a juvenile.