Jeanette Adkins, executive director of the Washington-based National Organization for Victim Assistance, said reactions to defendants vary among victims.
Earlier yesterday, Myrtha Charlot Cinada became overwhelmed with tears as she took the witness stand to identify her father from a photograph. At Judge James L. Ryan's suggestion, she took a few minutes to compose herself in an area behind the courtroom. Her father, 72-year-old Pascal Charlot, was fatally shot in the hand and near his throat about 9:15 p.m. Oct. 3, 2002, as he stood on a bustling corner in Northwest Washington.
Yesterday marked the third time that Burnell Irby, a high school teacher and football coach, has testified in a sniper trial; he was called to the stand in Malvo's and Muhammad's Virginia trials to describe the gunshot that felled Charlot. But it was the first time he had to answer Muhammad's questions.
"I didn't find him intimidating - he thinks he is," Irby said outside the courtroom.
Testimony yesterday also placed Muhammad's car near Seawell's shooting minutes after it took place, as well as a block from Charlot's slaying around the time the Haitian immigrant was slain. But a Washington police officer's testimony about stopping Muhammad's car about two hours before Charlot was killed a few minutes drive south of that scene was a reminder of missed opportunities. The officer had stopped Muhammad for failing to stop at two stop signs and possibly going over a 25 mph speed limit and issued a verbal warning but no ticket after his license and registration checked out.
In the trial that began Friday, prosecutors have so far concluded testimony about six victims, the first five in Montgomery County: James D. Martin, killed on Oct. 2; James L. "Sonny" Buchanan Jr., Premkumar A. Walekar, Sarah Ramos and Lori Ann Lewis-Rivera, killed the morning of Oct. 3; and then Charlot in Washington that night.
Medical examiner testimony in the past two days pointed to each of those victims - and the final victim, Conrad Johnson - being gunned down by a high-velocity weapon. Police recovered a .223-caliber Bushmaster rifle from the Caprice when Muhammad and Malvo were arrested Oct. 24.
Sun reporter Laura Cadiz contributed to this article.