In sniper trial, DNA evidence links
The Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 6, 2003 - 5A
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - John Allen
Muhammad's DNA was conclusively linked to a rifle
sight found in the car believed to have been used in last
year's sniper attacks, an FBI expert testified yesterday.
The sight was detached from the rifle when it was
found, said the expert, Brendan Shea. He would not
say with certainty that DNA collected from the rifle
itself was Muhammad's but testified there was a
"high likelihood" that it was.
The DNA of Muhammad's co-defendant, Lee
Boyd Malvo, was found on the rifle in several loca-
tions to the exclusion of anyone else, Shea testified.
Malvo's fingerprints also were found on the rifle,
but the prints were not in a position consistent with
someone firing the weapon, a fingerprint expert tes-
tified earlier yesterday.
Charles Colman of the ATF said he found prints
from Malvo's left ring finger and palm on the rifle,
but found none of Muhammad's prints. Malvo's
prints were on the weapon in such a manner that he
would have been holding it upside down at the time,
"It wasn't any type of firing position," he said.
-It has long been known that only Malvo's prints
were found on the weapon, but there had been no
to rifle, expert
previous public discussion about the position of the been in Muhat
prints. were also foun
Prosecutors have argued it is irrelevant who actual- the Oct. 9 sh
ly fired the weapon, portraying Muhammad as the Manassas.
"instigator and moving spirit" behind then shootings Muhammad
centered in the Washington, D.C., area. In other test
Defense lawyers have argued that identifying the chemical resid
triggerman is crucial in determining whether car suggests th
Muhammad is eligible for the death penalty. partment.
The jury also heard testimony yesterday about the Edward Bet
contents of a laptop computer found in Muhammad's Bureau of A1
car when he was arrested. sives, said nitr
Maps of six shooting scenes were marked with were "consiste
skull-and-crossbones icons, said FBI computer trunk."
expert John Hair. A caption next to the symbol mark- Prosecutors
ing the slaying of FBI analyst Linda Franklin includ- against Muhar
ed the words "Good one." presenting evi
Malvo has admitted firing the shots in many of the the arrests of
16 attacks, but Malvo's lawyers say their client gave a 2002, at a rest
false confession to protect Muhammad. They introd
FBI fingerprint expert Mitchell Hollars said that land, Virginia,
he found Malvo's fingerprints on items left behind at in an effort to
a Sept. 21, 2002, shooting in Montgomery, Ala., and multiple slayin
an Oct. 19 shooting in Ashland. He said he found sary condition
Muhammad's fingerprints only on two items that had against him in'
mmad's car. Muhammad's fingerprints
d on a map book found at the scene of
ooting of Dean Harold Meyers near
3 is on trial for that shooting.
imony, a third prosecution witness said
ue found in the trunk of Muhammad's
he gunman fired from inside the com-
nder, a forensic chemist for the U.S.
cohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explo-
oglycerine and other chemical residues
nt with a firearm being fired inside the
began the forensic part of their case
mmad yesterday after 2 1/2 weeks of
dence of the shootings and detailing
Muhammad and Malvo on Oct. 24,
stop in Maryland.
uced evidence in shootings in Mary-
Alabama, Louisiana and Washington
show that Muhammad had a role in
ags and terrorized the public - neces-
ns for the two death penalty charges
Charles Colman, a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms fingerprint expert,
holds the Bushmaster rifle he said was used in the sniper shootings yesterday.
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