Relatives of four of the victims sat in the second row yesterday and comforted one another as the killings were detailed. Some hung their heads or put their hands over their faces when the deaths of their relatives were described.
Larry Meyers put his arm around his wife while Conway went over the evidence in the killing of his brother, a 53-year- old civil engineer who was shot in the head while pumping gas at a Sunoco station north of Manassas.
Muhammad is charged with two counts of capital murder - one that alleges he killed more than one person in a three-year period and one that the killings were part of a terror plot to extort $10 million from the government. The anti-terrorism law has never gone to a jury before, but Conway said the law was written for this type of crime.
"Folks, this man and his accomplice, they did conspire and they carried out a plan of death and destruction across a large portion of the Eastern Seaboard," Conway said. "Did they intimidate the civilian population? They sure did. Did they try to influence the conduct of government? Look at their demands."
Prosecutors introduced more than 400 pieces of evidence at the trial, and they will be available to the jury as it deliberates. Commonwealth's Exhibit No. 1 - the .223-caliber Bushmaster rifle that was found in Muhammad's car and conclusively linked to the killings - was wielded by the lawyers yesterday as they addressed the jury.
Conway ended his closing argument with an appeal to the jurors to do their duty as citizens.
"For evil to triumph, it is enough that good people do nothing," he told them in a hushed voice as he stood feet from the jury box. "Good people have done a lot in this case, they have not done nothing. They have done their part. Now the case is about to go to you to do your part."
Before the jurors were excused for the day, three randomly chosen alternates were dismissed. The alternates asked the judge if he would allow them to watch the rest of the trial from the gallery, and he said he would. The alternates then stood beside the jury box as the 12 people they have spent the past month with filed out, hugging each in turn.
Muhammad, meanwhile, stood at the defense table about 30 feet away and watched the backs of the jurors as they receded down the hallway.
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