Prosecutors Seek Delay in Trial of Teen Sniper Suspect

From Mike M. Ahlers, CNN

(CNN) -- Prosecutors in the trial of Washington, D.C.-area sniper suspect Lee Boyd Malvo have asked a judge to delay his murder trial, scheduled to begin next month, until mid-December.

In a court motion, Fairfax, Va., County Commonwealth's Attorney Robert Horan Jr. said the delay was needed because the prosecution's mental health expert, Evan Nelson, needs more time to conduct an evaluation of Malvo and prepare his report. He asked that the trial be delayed until at least Dec. 10.

Fairfax County Circuit Judge Jane Marum Roush set a hearing on the request for 2 p.m. Thursday. It was unclear whether she would grant the request to delay the trial, given the difficult logistics for the proceedings.

Malvo's defense attorneys have announced they plan to pursue an insanity defense in his trial, which is scheduled to begin Nov. 10 in Chesapeake, Va.

Malvo, 18, is standing trial for the Oct. 14. 2002, sniper shooting of FBI analyst Linda Franklin outside a Home Depot store in Falls Church, Virginia. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. Franklin's slaying was one of 14 sniper-style shootings last October that terrorized the Washington metro area. In all, 10 people were killed and three wounded.

Police and prosecutors say Malvo and his alleged accomplice, John Allen Muhammad, 42, are responsible for the sniper shootings.

Muhammad is currently standing trial in Virginia Beach on murder charges stemming from another shooting. Malvo was in the courtroom Wednesday to be identified by two witnesses who linked the duo to shootings in Alabama.

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