Yesterday, however, Ryan refused to allow Muhammad to get another word in.
"No, sir," the judge replied, and sheriff's deputies whisked Muhammad out of the courtroom.
Abraham Dash, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Law who was not involved in the case, said that Muhammad's decision to represent himself turned the defense into something of a "farce" but it probably didn't affect the outcome of the trial.
"I honestly don't think it made that much of a difference," Dash said. "I don't think it would have made a difference if Clarence Darrow had handled things."
The convictions were for these killings: James D. Martin, 55, on Oct. 2; James L. "Sonny" Buchanan Jr., 39, Walekar, 54, Sarah Ramos, 34, and Lori Ann Lewis-Rivera, 25, the next day; and Conrad E. Johnson, 35, on Oct. 22.
The shootings - which Malvo testified were random - were part of a rampage in which 13 people were shot, 10 fatally, in Maryland, Washington and Virginia.
Muhammad claimed he was framed by police and said Malvo had been brainwashed by police into confession.
Malvo, however, said that in Montgomery County, he shot only the final victim and Muhammad shot the others. Malvo testified that Muhammad sought to extort $10 million from the government and use it to create a community in Canada to train 140 children to replicate his violent scheme across the United States in a bid to destroy the economy and foment revolution.
Malvo, a native of Jamaica, agreed to plead guilty to the same charges for which Muhammad was being tried. Gansler said Malvo approached prosecutors about testifying and did not seek a promise of leniency when he is sentenced later this year.
Malvo was tried and convicted of one sniper killing and pleaded guilty to others in Virginia. He is serving multiple life sentences there without the possibility of parole. Because he was a minor when the shootings took place, he was ineligible for the death penalty in Maryland. Prosecutors in Virginia unsuccessfully sought the death penalty for Malvo, and the Supreme Court has since struck it down for youthful offenders.
Muhammad's trial followed the pattern of his Virginia trial, as prosecutors went through 14 shootings - 13 in the Washington area and one in Alabama - and 17 sightings of Muhammad or Malvo or Muhammad's 1990 Chevrolet Caprice. Prosecutors told jurors that the duo cruised the region in this mobile sniper's lair, its windows tinted dark, a gunport cut into the trunk so the .223 rifle could be fired from within. Then, prosecutors brought in the "call me God" message to police and the forensics to tie Muhammad and Malvo to the car and gun.
Staff writers Anica Butler, Greg Garland and Tyrone Richardson contributed to this report.