Supreme Court Ruling Could Reduce Sniper Malvo's Sentence in Virginia

Court threw out mandatory life imprisonment without parole for juveniles

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    Lee Boyd Malvo in 2003

    A recent Supreme Court ruling could lead to a sentence reduction for Lee Boyd Malvo, the young man convicted in the 2002 Washington-area sniper shootings.

    On Monday, the high court threw out mandatory life imprisonment without parole for juveniles. That was Malvo's sentence for murders he committed in Fairfax and Spotsylvania counties, Va., at age 17.

    Defense attorney Craig Cooley says that if the ruling is applied retroactively, Malvo would be entitled to at least one new sentencing hearing.

    He says it's not clear whether the ruling applies both to plea deals like the one Malvo struck in Spotsylvania, and trial verdicts like his conviction for the Fairfax County murder.

    Malvo also got life without parole for six murders in Montgomery County, Md. That sentence wasn't mandatory, so it stands.

    John Allen Muhammad, who was also convicted in the sniper shootings, was executed in Virginia in 2009.