A United States high court on Friday overturned some of the life sentences of Jamaica-born USA sniper Lee Boyd Malvo, who was convicted for his role in a killing spree in Washington nearly 15 years ago.
U.S. District Court Judge Raymond Jackson, in a rare move, sent Malvo's case back to state courts in Chesapeake and Spotslvania County in Virginia for resentencing. Last year, the court ruled that decision could be retroactive.
He also noted that the convictions themselves stand and emphasized that, even if Malvo gets a new sentencing hearing, he could still be resentenced to a life term.
The ruling doesn't overturn life sentences he received in Maryland after pleading guilty to six murders there. He was also convicted by a jury and sentenced to two life sentences in Fairfax County, it added.
Eighteen-year old sniper suspect Lee Malvo, (C), who was 17 at the time of the alleged crimes, appears in court during the trial of sniper suspect John Muhammad in Virginia Beach, Virginia, U.S., October 22, 2003.
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Prosecutors sought the death penalty for Malvo as well, for the slaying in Fairfax County, Va., of Linda Franklin outside a Home Depot in the Falls Church area. Jackson wrote that the Supreme Court's ruling on juveniles grants new rights to teenagers that Malvo didn't know he had when he agreed to a plea bargain.
Malvo said he met Muhammad in Antigua and took to the road with him.
In 2002, Lee Boyd Malvo and John Allen Muhammad killed 10 people and injured others in a multi-day shooting spree in Maryland and Virginia. Muhammad was executed via lethal injection on November 10, 2009.
Malvo, now 32 years old, is currently being held at Red Onion State Prison, a super-maximum security prison in Virginia.