DC Sniper Calls Himself ‘This Innocent Black Man’

Steve Szkotak, San Francisco Chronicle, November 4, 2009

Attorneys for John Allen Muhammad released a May 2008 letter on Wednesday in which the mastermind of the deadly 2002 sniper attacks in the Washington, D.C., area proclaims his innocence.

The rambling, handwritten letter was made available because of requests for a statement from Muhammad, his attorneys wrote on the Web page of their law firm. The letter was filed in federal court in connection with Muhammad’s unsuccessful attempt to block his execution, the attorneys said.

Muhammad, 48, is scheduled to die by injection on Nov. 10 at a Virginia prison.

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The letter adds: “So all you police and prosecutors can stand-down-‘rushing’ to murder this innocent black man for something he nor his son (Lee) had nothing to do with. . . .”

Lee Boyd Malvo was Muhammad’s teenage accomplice, who is serving a life sentence. Muhammad fostered a father-son relationship with Malvo but the two were not related.

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The letter, written under the heading “Attorney Client Privilege,” was apparently filed during an attempt by lawyers to spare Muhammad from the death penalty.

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Muhammad was convicted of killing Dean Harold Meyers at a Manassas, Va., gas station during a three-week spree that killed 10 in October 2002. The killings happened in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

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Muhammad’s lawyers also have asked Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine for clemency, saying Muhammad is mentally ill and should not be executed.

[Editor’s Note: Muhammad’s letter can be downloaded as a PDF document read here.]

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