They Love A Parade

Montgomery County Police Chief Charles Moose holds foam "moose" antlers while waving during the Thanksgiving Day parade in Silver Spring, Md., Saturday, Nov. 23, 2002. At right is 11-year-old Regan Denchfield, of Chevy Chase, Md., whose father owns and drives the 1948 Cadillac, the parade's lead car. Moose is one of four sniper shooting investigators who participated as grand marshals in the parade. AP

Montgomery County Police Chief Charles Moose really doesn't like parades.

Still, he was persuaded to ride in a convertible Saturday, passing people wearing purple foam moose antlers to honor Moose and yelling his name, as grand marshal of a parade honoring the law enforcement agencies that hunted for the Washington-area snipers.

"He's the man," 12-year-old Johanna Cahill said as she watched Moose go by in a 1950s Cadillac. "He did a lot of good things for the community."

Moose dislikes parades so much that when he was chief in Portland, Ore., he stayed home when the city honored its police force in its annual Rose Festival parade.

Seven of the 13 people killed or wounded in the Washington area were Montgomery County residents or had ties to the county. It also was home to the sniper task force, a multi-agency team of thousands of police officers and federal agents.

But it was Moose the crowds came to see Saturday. He was mobbed by people who wanted to shake his hand and thank him after an interfaith service that preceded the parade.

"Ever since this event has come to closure, people have been demonstrating their support and love for the police department," Moose said.

Several hundred people stood in the cold and wind to watch the parade, which included police cars from sniper task force agencies, high school bands, politicians and a turkey float for Thanksgiving.

Along the parade route, Irene Fergusen adjusted her antlers using a store window as a mirror.

"I've read the whole story of Chief Moose's life," she said. "I'm happy we have him here. He's a wonderful person."

Meanwhile CBS News correspondent Stephanie Lambidakis says it's full steam ahead for prosecutors preparing to try John Allen Muhammad and John Lee Malvo next year on capital murder and terrorism charges. With the avalanche of evidence against the suspects, legal expert Jonathan Turley tells CBS News, defense lawyers have little room to maneuver.

What's more, he says, the deck is stacked against the defense because Attorney General John Ashcroft demanded the death penalty for both suspects when he gave Virginia prosecutors first crack at the cases.

"Prosecutors don't have many options. They promised to put these guys to death, so they're not going to be engaging in plea bargains," Turley told CBS News.
  • Joel Roberts

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