Twenty years after he and his accomplice terrorized the Washington, D.C. area with a series of random shootings, Virginia has denied parole to convicted sniper killer Lee Boyd Malvo, ruling that he is still a threat to the community.
Malvo was only 17 years old in October 2002 when he and John Allen Muhammad murdered 10 people and injured three more over the course of three weeks. While traveling from Washington state to the nation’s capital area, the pair shot and killed several people along the way.
Malvo was found guilty of first-degree murder in Virginia and given a life sentence with no chance of release. After nearly twenty years in prison, Malvo was finally able to apply for parole due to a series of Supreme Court rulings and a change in Virginia law.
According to state records of Parole Board decisions for August, the Virginia Parole Board denied Malvo’s parole application on August 30 because he is still a danger to society and needs to serve more time in prison.
The Parole Board wrote, “Release at this time would diminish the seriousness of the crime; Serious nature and circumstances of your offense(s).
John Allen Muhammad, Malvo’s partner in crime, was put to death in Virginia in 2009. Malvo, who is now 37 years old, was convicted of three murders in Virginia and given a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Malvo was originally sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, but two federal courts ruled that he was entitled to new sentencing hearings after the Supreme Court’s 2012 ruling that mandatory life sentences for juveniles are unconstitutional. In 2020, the Virginia legislature also passed a law allowing juvenile offenders to apply for parole after serving 20 years in prison.
Malvo, a Jamaican boy of 15, had been exiled to Antigua at the age of 15. There, he met Muhammad, a man several decades his senior. Malvo was trained and indoctrinated by Muhammad, and the two went on a killing spree across the country in 2002, killing 10 people in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
The shootings, according to testimony presented in court, were part of Muhammad’s plot to get custody of his children by killing his ex-wife and making it look like an accident.
Malvo is currently serving his time in Virginia’s Red Onion State Prison, a maximum-security facility.
Malvo received a life sentence in Maryland for his crimes, regardless of whether or not he received parole in Virginia. The highest court in Maryland decided last month that Malvo needs to serve a new sentence for his crimes in that state.