Asked what the mission was, Malvo explained that he was supposed to wait until several students stepped off the school bus, then open fire and shoot at least five of them.

Because no bus arrived, Muhammad directed Malvo by walkie-talkie to shoot the young man in front of him, Iran Brown, Malvo said.

"I didn't think about the victims as individuals," Malvo said. "My thoughts were only about Mr. Muhammad."

Malvo said he killed Ride On bus driver Conrad E. Johnson, the final sniper victim, early on Oct. 22, 2002, after burrowing into the dirt and covering himself with branches to spend the night. He then tacked up a warning note to police. In the morning, he saw Johnson and a Ride-On trainee preparing to begin the bus route.

"He turned around to face [the trainee], and I took the shot," Malvo said.

The power that Malvo says Muhammad once held over him and the bond they shared was evident as Muhammad cross-examined the young man.

"Mr. Malvo, the state has informed me that - not to call you 'son' or 'Lee.' Is that correct?" Muhammad asked.

"Yes," Malvo whispered.

Muhammad then asked Malvo how, if he was reliable, as Malvo had said earlier, he could be lying to the jury.

"I said your word was bond," Malvo said. " I never said you were telling the truth."

Muhammad then tried to discredit the young man by pointing out that he had lied to officers in Baltimore and Virginia.

"Seven hours of lying, is that correct?" Muhammad asked.

Malvo admitted that he had lied under oath in Virginia to protect Muhammad.

Muhammad spent the majority of yesterday's 50-minutes of cross-examination asking Malvo details about where victims stood when they were shot, where the Caprice was parked at murder scenes and what items they brought to YMCAs they visited.

Malvo will take the stand again today as Muhammad continues his cross-examination.

andrea.siegel@baltsun.com julie scharper@baltsun.com