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- Past Rowdy the Redhawk mascot's identity revealed (10/15/17)
- Police chief, council: Cape Girardeau faces growing gun violence (10/17/17)4
- Developer asks court to OK tax district board for improvements near Hobby Lobby (10/17/17)4
- Politics to profits: Brothers launch new investing concept on Wall Street (10/19/17)1
- Load shift kills Jackson trucker (10/17/17)
- The last person to be laid to rest at Old Lorimier Cemetery: Mary Russell Fox (10/17/17)2
- Cape Christian School burglarized (10/18/17)
- Food Giant in Chaffee is robbed (10/17/17)
- Owner of dinosaur relics demands new board of directors, business plan at Bollinger County Museum (10/17/17)
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.