Muhammad defense team seeks retrial

Sniper shootings coverage
MANASSAS, Va. - Statements purportedly made by a lawyer from Washington state and the youngest daughter of convicted sniper John Allen Muhammad should not have been admitted during the penalty phase of the case, defense attorneys said in a motion for a new trial.

In the eight-page motion filed Friday, Muhammad's lawyers asked the court to throw out his capital murder conviction because prosecutors violated his Sixth Amendment right to confront his accusers: namely the statements from daughter Taalibah Muhammad and the unnamed lawyer.

During the penalty phase in November, Muhammad's former wife, Mildred, testified that her attorney in Washington state advised her to "leave tonight for fear that he may find me and kill me."

Defense lawyers also objected to statements in her testimony that she attributed to their daughter Taalibah: "Mommy, if Daddy gets out, then that means that he will kill you," and, "I don't want to live the rest of my life without my mommy.'"

Muhammad, 43, was convicted Nov. 17 in the murder of Dean Harold Meyers on Oct. 9, 2002, at a gas station near Manassas. A jury recommended that he be sentenced to death.