VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) – Jurors decided Monday that John Allen Muhammad should be executed for masterminding the deadly sniper attacks that terrorized the Washington area for three weeks last fall.
As the verdict was read, Muhammad maintained the same unflinching demeanor he had shown through most of his trial. The jury deliberated five hours over two days before reaching the verdict against Muhammad, a 42-year-old Army veteran who had asked police to “Call me God” during the October 2002 spree.
Jurors had convicted him of murder a week ago and then heard testimony in the sentencing phase.
The jury’s sentencing recommendation is not final. Circuit Judge LeRoy F. Millette Jr. can reduce the punishment to life in prison without parole when Muhammad is formally sentenced, but Virginia judges rarely do that. Sentencing was set for Feb. 12.