Malvo's defense asks for experts to help in trial


FAIRFAX, Va. - The defense team for teen-age sniper suspect Lee Boyd Malvo asked a judge yesterday to authorize hiring a battery of experts to assist in the capital murder trial, due to start here in November.

Malvo, 18, faces the possibility of execution if convicted of killing FBI analyst Linda Franklin, 47, in the parking lot of a Home Depot store in the Seven Corners section of Fairfax County on Oct. 14.

Yesterday, his lawyers asked Fairfax County Circuit Judge Jane M. Roush to appoint and authorize court funding for DNA experts and independent DNA testing of evidence, and a social worker or other expert to help gather information for an expected request to spare Malvo's life if he is convicted.

They are also seeking a handwriting analyst to look into authorship of notes found at shooting scenes during last fall's incidents, a voice expert to analyze tape-recorded calls made to police, a ballistics expert and a fingerprint specialist.

The request was among several routine defense motions yesterday. Prosecutors have a week to respond, and Roush will hold a hearing March 31 on the motions.

Malvo and John Allen Muhammad, 42, are accused in a series of shootings last year that left 13 people dead and others wounded.

Muhammad is scheduled to be tried on capital murder charges in neighboring Prince William County for the Oct. 9 shooting of Dean Harold Meyers, 53, of Gaithersburg.

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