I, Sniper (2020–…): Season 1, Episode 8 - Solidarity - full transcript

Now in custody, separated from Muhammad, Lee Malvo's defense team battles to save him from the death penalty.

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-The judge says...

-John put his hand
on the courtroom door,

looked at me,
and said, "Gotcha."

-Keenya had been shot.

Didn't know who,
didn't know why.

- 19-11... I have one down,
there's blood all over.

-"Your children are not safe
anywhere, at any time."

-A law-enforcement army is after
the shooter, or shooters,

but so far,
none of the leads have paid off.

-These are a copy
of Lee Malvo's fingerprints

that I took when I processed him
for deportation.



-Police in the DC area

have issued a lookout
for a 1990 Chevy Caprice.

-We also have a license
plate number... NDA...

-On the ground!
Let me see your hands!

- Hello, this is a call from...
- Lee Malvo.

- an inmate at the Virginia
Department of Corrections,

Red Onion State Prison.

-41-year-old man, John Muhammad,

and a Jamaican-born teenager...

Sniper team that terrorized the
Washington metropolitan area.

-19-11... I have one down,
there's blood all over.

-For three weeks,

the most intense manhunts
in American history...

-The serial killer hunting
down random citizens.



-We have fear levels here
that I think are higher

than they were
after September 11th.

-President Bush is talking
about fighting Iraq,

and we have a war zone
right here in this own country.

-Ohh! Oh, man!

Oh, man!

-It may be the oddest race
we've ever seen...

The race going on
to see which state can try,

sentence, and execute
the two sniper suspects.

-According to federal sources,
the death penalty is key

to which jurisdiction is likely
to try the men first.

-Virginia prosecutors could
pursue capital-murder charges

against the 17-year old suspect,
Malvo,

if he is tried as an adult.

-Relatives and friends
of John Allen Muhammad

have expressed shock
about his arrest in connection

with the sniper shootings.

-As an African American, we were
like, "We don't do this.

This ain't our thing."

For the Black community,
it was sorrow,

it was disgust,
it was frustration.

We hadn't really been known
to be mass killers.

-And we'll shut the door and...

-At the time,
it was really overwhelming,

and I was really thinking,

you know,
could he really do these things?

-I had a lot of questions.

Growing up, I didn't really get
to hang out with my dad.

Our relationship
was kind of distant.

-Seeing him on TV in that light,
was I angry?

Oh, yes.

But at the same time,

the why question
would overshadow everything...

Why it happened, what could we
have done different

to stop it from happening?

-People can mask themselves.

And you don't know
what snapped in his head.

I don't think we're ever gonna
understand the whole picture.

But if we don't ask the question
for the greater society,

then who will?

-Now the latest

on the Washington DC area
sniper suspects...

Both men have been charged
with murder in Virginia,

and that means that
the 17-year-old,

John Lee Malvo,
could face the death penalty.

-I could hear sirens coming down

one of the main streets
towards our office.

Well, it was Malvo.

-Fortunately for the victims
and for us,

he was willing to talk about
what he had done.

I mean, he gave a lot of detail.

He admitted to pulling
the trigger in each case.

And we only had that one shot

because once he had a lawyer
appointed to him...

the lawyer would have said,
"Don't say anything."

I remember he laughed

as he described
certain aspects of the killings.

For instance, he thought
it was humorous,

that,
when Sonny Buchanan was shot,

that Sonny's lawn
mower kept going.

-I remember he chortled
at Mr. Martin.

Malvo missed him
with his first shot.

And Malvo described Mr Martin,
waving his hand by his head

as if a bee had flown too close.

-And I just remember
watching him smile and laugh,

and I just thought,
"What an evil person."

That's what I thought.

-We started to get
little nuggets

that there's more
than these 13 shootings.

-There are new indications today
that the sniper shootings

in the Washington DC area
may have begun much earlier

and much farther south.

-Investigators are still trying
to determine

how many times the team
of two allegedly struck.

-Victims of the serial sniper

may have been 800 miles south...

- two clerks shout outside
the ABC beverage store

in Montgomery, Alabama.

- fatal shooting in September

in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

-Now police are looking
for links

to another murder
in Washington State...

- the Tacoma, Washington,
killing last winter

of a woman
known to John Muhammad.

Keenya Cook's shooting death
is still unsolved.

-We didn't know
who killed Keenya.

I turn on the TV,

and I see John's picture.

I just sit there
'cause it's John.

It's John.

It's John.

-Investigators believe
Keenya Cook died

when she answered
her front door.

Her 6-month-old baby girl
lay upstairs.

-I'm the connectional piece.

I was with Mildred in court
that morning

when John had to give
the children over to her.

I started getting guilt feelings
that it should have been me.

It should have been me.

That bullet...
It should have been me.

-Lee's dedication
to John Muhammad was absolute.

If somebody said, "John Muhammad
made you do this,"

or, "John Muhammad was wrong
when he did this,"

Lee would simply
just close down.

And so, in my mind,
Lee was simply an instrument

that was being controlled

and manipulated
by John Muhammad.

We were not looking to say,
"He's the wrong person,

this didn't happen,
these people are all fibbing,"

but we recognized that
that mitigation,

if properly presented,

should be enough
to save his life.

And one of our colleagues
had a Jamaican heritage,

and we asked her to assist us.

- I was tasked with
reconnecting Lee Malvo

to his life prior John Muhammad.

I had been warned that making
a connection with Lee Malvo

was going to be
extremely difficult

because he was so fused
with John Muhammad.

And Lee said, "Well,
you're not gonna use me

to kill my father.

We are one."

When I was in Jamaica,
one of the things that I did

was I asked family members,
friends

to send a message to him.

-Lee, I left everything
in God's hand,

and I would like to sing
a song to comfort...

-Lee's Aunt Marie was
an extremely religious person.

She didn't say anything.
She sang.

-♪ Great is thy faithfulness ♪

♪ Oh, God, my father ♪

♪ There is no shadow
of turning with thee ♪

♪ Great is thy faithfulness ♪

♪ Great is thy faithfulness ♪

-And I can remember
we heard him singing.

It started really low...

-♪ ...I see ♪

♪ All I have... ♪

-And then he started singing
louder and louder,

and then he just he just
burst out in tears.

-♪ ...pardon for sin ♪

♪ And peace that... ♪

♪ ...to cheer and to guide ♪

♪ Strength for today and bright
hope for tomorrow ♪

♪ Blessings... ♪

♪ ...beside ♪

♪ -...faithfulness ♪

♪ Great is thy faithfulness ♪

♪ Great is thy faithfulness ♪

♪ Lord, unto me ♪

-It's a case
that terrorized millions

and captured
worldwide attention.

-Suspected sniper John Muhammad
goes to trial on Tuesday

in Virginia Beach.

-The evidence against
John Muhammad and Lee Malvo

is so overwhelming,

many experts say the defense
strategies will center

on keeping them alive.

-The stakes were extremely high.

We were in dire straits in terms
of getting him ready

because he was still, you know,
really trapped into...

Psychologically trapped
into Muhammad.

I said, you know, I need to
bring someone up from Jamaica.

And the person who I felt
was best suited for that

was his teacher,
Winsome Maxwell.

-Walking in and seeing him...
It was very traumatic.

When he was a child,
Lee needed a mother,

and I had taken Lee in.

What he craved most
was forgiveness.

He wanted most my forgiveness.

-It was going good,
and they were just talking.

They were not talking too much

about the crimes
or anything like that,

just reacquainting themselves,

and then the following day,
we went back,

and it was
a totally different person.

-He kept saying that all that
night, he just heard voices,

voices compelling him
to remain loyal,

and he was now struggling.

-She said to him,
"Tell me, Lee Malvo...

Who do you owe loyalty to?

Do you owe loyalty to me,
your teacher,

who took you into her home
and treated you as her son?

Or do you owe loyalty to
that man who brought you here?"

-Because Lee's like that.

He would protect
whoever loves him.

And I remember I just
couldn't take it anymore.

-And this teacher...
She was crying.

I mean, there were tears

that were just
coming down her cheeks.

And Lee said "Please
don't cry, Miss Maxwell.

Please don't cry, Miss Maxwell.

Don't cry, Miss Maxwell."

And he started to cry.

And he said...

And she said,
"Lee, you've got to promise me

that you've got to tell them
what happened to you."

And he said, "It's gonna be
hard, Miss Maxwell,

but I'm gonna try."

-Now the trial is underway

for one of the two Washington DC
area sniper suspects.

-John Allen Muhammad,
the 42-year-old army veteran,

claimed he had nothing to do
with the shootings.

-John Muhammad was controlling,
Mildred Muhammad testified,

but she said he was
like a magnet to children

who needed a father figure.

-Muhammad was charged
with the shooting death

of Dean Meyers
on October 9th, 2002.

Prosecutors argued that Muhammad
was also equally responsible

for the other shootings,
although it was the fingerprints

and the DNA of his alleged
accomplice, Lee Boyd Malvo,

that was found on much
of the evidence.

-And we do have some flash news

coming into the MSNBC studios
right now,

the Judge in the serial sniper
case for John Allen Muhammad

has come back
with a death sentence

for John Allen Muhammad.

-With respect to what
took place,

there are no winners today.

-Claudine was
a wonderful person,

and she's very... she's missed.

Sometimes, it still doesn't feel
like Claudine is dead.

I just can't get to her.

I still will pick up...

I know her phone number
right now.

There have been days when I'll
pick up my phone to call her.

It was a tough decision,
I'm sure, but a decision

that had to be made,
and it worked out

where justice was served,
and the punishment...

and the punishment...

-Take your time.
Take your time.

Take your time.

-And the punishment
fit the crime.

-As the trial of sniper suspect
John Allen Muhammad wraps up,

jurors are hearing
opening statements

this morning
in the case against Lee Malvo.

-Even though he was 17
at the time of the shootings,

under Virginia law, Malvo
could face the death penalty.

His lawyers will tell the jury
today that John Muhammad,

the older sniper defendant,

so dominated Malvo
that he was brainwashed.

It's a defense of insanity.

-They did a brilliant job
in presenting Malvo

as a very clean-cut,
tidy, young, quiet person.

He looked like he could be
singing in the Mormon Choir.

That wasn't the Malvo
that I knew,

-It was just a show
to gain sympathy

from the jurors,

but you cannot come here
in preppy clothes

and try to gain sympathy
on what you did.

You're a murderer.
You killed my husband.

-Malvo is formally charged with
one of the sniper shootings

that killed FBI analyst
Linda Franklin

in the parking lot
of a Home Depot.

Prosecutors will also claim
he fired the shots

in several of the other attacks.

-Linda Franklin's daughter,
Katie, was there every day...

and watched every minute of it.

She was a tough nut.

But when they played
the 911 tape of Mr. Franklin,

it was very difficult.

-Okay.

-And we had our moments
in trial that were tough.

-I want them to understand,
you know,

how painful it was
not to have Lori with us...

-Wow!

- how horrible it is to hear
from your daughter, you know,

"Daddy, I want to go and, you
know, be in heaven with my mom.

I want to die."

-After six weeks of trial,

it took the jury
less than thirteen hours

to reject the insanity defense
of Lee Boyd Malvo's lawyers.

-Guilty on all counts...
That is the verdict.

Guilty of capital murder

in the commission
of an act of terrorism.

Guilty of capital murder

for killing more
than one person...

-Now it is up to a Virginia jury
to decide

if convicted teenage sniper
Lee Boyd Malvo

should live or die.

-Breaking news from CNN,

and that is that the jury
in Chesapeake Virginia

has apparently reached
a decision.

It is life in prison
without parole.

He is not getting
the death sentence.

He is getting life in prison
without parole.

-I was not happy that he wasn't
sentenced to death.

I'm thinking, you're putting
fourteen-year olds in prison,

adult prisons,
for forty and fifty years,

why can't you sentence
a seventeen-year-old,

you know, killer to death?

-I know a lot of people think

he should have gotten
a death penalty,

but you start to wonder,
you know, how you really feel

about this person
in front of you?

These were heinous crimes.

Yeah, he did all these murders,

he shot all these people,

but how
do you put a child to death?

And when you sit back and look
at how he got

in the situation that he was in,

was he really that responsible?

He's not the same as Muhammad.

So, I'm okay with the fact
that he wasn't put to death.

-When they didn't give
him death,

I wasn't disappointed.

I wasn't happy.

I thought, "He's evil."

I think, to this day,

Malvo would kill tomorrow
if he could.

-I remember thinking, "Why do
we keep making these people?"

The saddest part about
the cyclical nature of violence

is that we do not learn from it.

Guns, violence, bigger...

I mean, everything
about this country.

The sniper in DC
was a very American product...

Made in America,

bottled in America,
fed to Americans...

-There are the shots!

- and we don't get it.

-We don't understand
why it continues.

-And we can't deal with that

because the gun is almost
as sacred as the Bible.

And it's supposed to be
a protector,

But how many times does it
protect versus take out?

That's a chapter in our world

that we don't like
to visit that room.

-You'd see him as a big guy.
Just... hey, this is a nice guy.

And that's the way he was.

-Do you remember, every time...

Conrad,
before he'd get on his bus,

he'd go to his mirror like
this...

Make sure everything
is smooth...

his hair
and everything, you know?

-Exactly.

-It devastated a lot of
people, man... a lot of people.

-Yeah.

-I'm still mad.

I was... whoo!

Whew!

I was no more good, you know,
for a long time.

I'm getting choked up now
as I speak to you

'cause I can still feel it,
you know?

And it still gives me
a lot of chills.

You're all right, buddy.
Everything's all right.

-His lawyers tried everything
to keep him alive.

The DC sniper
John Allen Muhammad

set for execution now...
Only a few hours away.

-The day of the execution...

I came to talk to my father
for the last time.

It was just...

"Let me go see my dad."

-John Muhammad
has never acknowledged

committing these crimes.

He has never expressed
any remorse.

-When he first entered the room,
he starts lining up his papers,

telling me about different cases

and why he couldn't have
did this one

and why he couldn't
have did that one.

And at this point, I'm starting
to get frustrated

because this wasn't
what I came here for.

You don't have to plead
your case to me.

I come here to sit down
and have a talk with my dad.

He slightly looked confused
a little bit,

but I think he understood.

So, we talked and laughed.

He was really trying to cram

twenty something years of bits
and pieces that he's missed

and try to be a father
in two hours.

-John Muhammad is preparing
to die.

He asked for a last meal.

He also could
receive visitors today.

-Our son, Little John,
says, "Why aren't we there?"

I said, "I'm not gonna
make excuses for your dad.

I called to have you all put
on the docket

so that you could see him,
and your dad refused."

-Many believe
John Muhammad's real mission

was to murder his ex-wife,
Mildred,

and gain custody
of their children.

-My children still wanted
to talk to their dad.

"If we don't talk to him now,
we'll never talk to him."

So, I said, "Okay."
I called his attorney.

He said, "John's going
in the chamber.

Before he does, I'll call to
try to get him to talk to you."

-They're assembling witnesses
here at the prison tonight.

There are some family
members of victims

who are coming here.

We've been told to expect
about 20 of them.

-It was a lot of us in there.

And I could hear John talking,
answering commands,

saying, "Yes, sir, yes, sir."

I could hear the chains.

They put him on a gurney,
stretched his arms out...

Kind of looked like a cross
a little bit...

Strapped him on,
and he just lied there.

-The only thing I'm thinking...
"That was too easy for him."

That was too easy for him.

-We were waiting
for the phone call,

but watching the news
at the same time.

Right then, the announcer
was coming to the podium,

and I knew that was it.

-All right, the execution
of John Allen Muhammad

has been carried out

under the laws
of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Death was pronounced
at 9:11 p.m.

-And my children
just hit the floor

and started screaming
uncontrollably.

"I thought he said he loved us."

-Da!

-It just seemed like
for nothing,

and they ruined
all these families for nothing.

As a Black man, I'm just
so ashamed of them, you know,

because they're reflecting
on me, you know,

and I know that
that's not right, you know,

but in my mind, that's right.

It's just a total insult.

There are people
that face worse childhoods

and more discrimination
than anything

that they can ever imagine,

and those people didn't just
go around killing people.

There's just no excuse for their
behavior... none whatsoever.

-It's finally over, you know?

Who came out better...
Him or Lee?

And that's what's so hard
about Lee.

I mean, Lee could live to be
90 years old. Who knows?

Caged up like an animal
for life.

That's too much, man.

-This watch was worn by Dean
when he was shot.

And this watch stopped at the
moment that he hit the concrete.

There's such a stark reminder
of not only Dean,

but the moment
that he lost his life.

Time stopped on this watch.

And in many ways,
it stopped for us, as well.

-This was about 5 weeks
after the shooting,

and it shows one area

where there's still
some scabbing.

The wound isn't
completely healed.

I try not to let it affect me
like I used to.

I guess maybe my ex-husband

decided that looks did count
a little bit more.

And I wasn't as outgoing
as I used to be...

A lot of personality changes...

And so he found someone else.
Extracted and de-HI'd by Peppe @2021