Excerpts from closing arguments

The following are excerpts from closing arguments delivered Tuesday in the murder trial of Lee Boyd Malvo, as transcribed by a Sun reporter:

Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Horan Jr.

"These killings, by the evidence in front of you, were done for money. To kill all of these people essentially for money -- that's why they did it. That's why they started Oct. 3 in the year 2002. They wanted to have enough bodies out there that the government would pay attention to them and pay the money. Talk about killings as much as you want, but it's hard to envision the notion of shooting people you don't even know in order to achieve the goal of intimidating the government."

"Members of the jury, there can be no doubt, reasonable or otherwise, that he is the shooter of both Linda Franklin and Dean Meyers. He said he was. We have the mental health crowd coming and saying don't believe that. Believe something else. If you believe the mental health experts the defense presented, they are telling you he's insane, he doesn't know right from wrong, he doesn't know the nature, consequences and character of his acts, but believe him when he said he was the spotter. Believe this insane man when he said he was the spotter."

"One thing we don't ask of you -- we don't ask you to leave your common sense on the front step of this courthouse. You're allowed to take that common sense in the jury room. We submit that the common sense is his admission. All the mental health claims put together don't change the precise nature of his words."

"Members of the jury, there is no such thing as a good murderer. They don't make them. They're all bad. But some are worse than most and we submit to you this one is as bad as any. This most reprehensible of killings should be called what it is -- it is a capital killing under the terrorism statute. It is a capital killing under the statute that says he killed two people in three years. Give him justice. Give him a conviction of the two capital murders he committed."

"Members of the jury, a hard life is not a mental disease. A difficult childhood is not a mental disease. Going through 10 schools before the age of 15 is not a mental disease. Having a father who essentially deserts you at age 5 is not a mental disease. Having a mother who leaves frequently, albeit for good reason to work so you can be educated, is not a mental disease."

Defense attorney Michael S. Arif:

"The victims did nothing to deserve what happened to them. The losses to the families is immeasurable. The pain inflicted is inexcusable. You can't redress the losses these people have suffered. Adding another life to that pile of death does not solve anything. It does not bring anyone back. It's just revenge."

"I'm not disputing that Lee was there. We conceded that from the beginning. He was there. He was there at every one of those shootings. More importantly, so was John Muhammad."

"Understand what he told you [in the confessions to police] is not believable. Frankly, it's bull. It's nonsense. It's not real. What he wants to do is take the blame on himself. He's putting it on himself. Why? Why does he want to do that? We've told you he was indoctrinated. We've told you he was protecting his father. Not his real father, but this John Muhammad. Why? Because this was the father he knew."

"[Defense attorney Craig] Cooley told you during the opening this was like two rivers converging. One was clean and pristine. One was polluted. John Muhammad was the polluted river, and when the two rivers meet, the clean river always loses. It becomes polluted and that is what happened in this case."

"What's the bottom line? Lee was taken over, completely and entirely, by John Muhammad. His entire personality changed. He became a different man, a different boy. He was still 17. He became John Lee Muhammad. The child you see there, Lee Malvo, didn't exist. He was gone for all practical purposes. Did he know right from wrong? Right was what John Muhammad said it was. Wrong was what John Muhammad said it was. Was Lee captive? What else can you call it? There were no walls, there were no fences, but they may as well have been there. He could not escape John Muhammad. The day he met John Muhammad, the life of Lee Malvo ended. Without sounding overly melodramatic, and I apologize if it does, the last victim of John Muhammad sits at the defense table today. That is the last victim."

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