"In that computer we have a map of the dastardly deeds they've done, a record of the shootings," Ebert said in court yesterday. The digital voice recorder contained two recordings - one was 21 minutes of news conferences by former Montgomery County Police Chief Charles A. Moose, the head of the sniper task force. The other recording lasted 20 seconds and contained two voices identified as Muhammad's and Malvo's by detectives.
The voice said to be Muhammad's reiterates the demand for $10 million first mentioned in a note left in the woods behind the Ponderosa in Ashland, Va.
Muhammad's Caprice also contained, on a slip of paper stuffed between the front passenger headrest and the seat back, a list of five schools in Baltimore County that might have been potential targets. And, in a rucksack in the car, authorities found a gun sight with Muhammad's DNA on it.
That sight is the closest authorities have come to placing the weapon in the hands of the Army veteran who was skilled at marksmanship. The sight fit the Bushmaster rifle, but there was no proof it was ever mounted.
Muhammad is charged with two counts of capital murder in Meyers' death at a Sunoco station north of Manassas, Va. One provides for the death penalty for killing more than one person in a three-year period. The other calls for death under Virginia's new anti-terrorism law.
That law, passed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, makes killing a person in the commission of an act of terrorism a capital crime. This is the first time the law has been used, and it's not clear whether it will stand up to an appeal. The defense argued yesterday that the law is meant for Osama bin Laden types - not Muhammad.
Securing the death penalty under the multiple-killings law is also questionable. The law requires proof that the defendant was a direct participant or "principal in the first degree" - in other words, the trigger man. Prosecutors argue that Muhammad's role as the guiding spirit in the attacks fulfills the trigger man requirement.
"We can't say who the trigger man is, but we certainly can say we had joint participation," Ebert said, going as far as calling Malvo a "soldier" for Muhammad's cause of spreading fear and extorting the government.
Defense attorneys aren't so sure. "It is the killer who is the last person who has the opportunity to stop the death from occurring," Greenspun said. "There is no evidence that Mr. Muhammad is the person who pulled the trigger of the rifle that caused Mr. Meyers' death."
The final witness for the prosecution yesterday was a Montgomery County police sergeant who supervises homicide investigators. He described the morning of Oct. 3, 2002, when four people were killed in the county in just over two hours. He said he told his officers to put on bulletproof vests.
"I was fearful of what would happen to the employees I had out there," testified Sgt. Roger Thomson. "We had an individual who was randomly shooting individuals, and we didn't know who they were or where the next shooting would be."
Ebert showed Thomson a map of the shooting scenes - the state's final piece of evidence, No. 406 in this trial - and asked him to walk the jury through them once more, one by one. After doing that, Thomson pointed to the rest stop on Interstate 70 in Frederick County where the suspects were arrested Oct. 24 last year.
Ebert asked him, "From that date to this one, has there been another sniper shooting?"
"No," Thomson said, "nothing like this."
Prosecution wraps up its capital case against Muhammad
Fear generated by sniper calls for death, jury is told; Defense gets its turn tomorrow
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