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Malvo's Dad To Testify

The daughter of one sniper victim called Lee Boyd Malvo evil. Teachers and others who knew the convicted killer when he was younger described him as bright, courteous, sweet and lonely.

Now Malvo's estranged father is expected to add his assessment Monday as the defense makes its last bid to persuade jurors who convicted the 18-year-old of capital murder to spare his life.

"We hope you'll see the value of that life," defense attorney Thomas Walsh told jurors Friday during his opening statement for the sentencing phase of Malvo's trial. "That young man has value."

Malvo was found guilty Thursday of two counts of capital murder in the killing of FBI analyst Linda Franklin on Oct. 14, 2002, during a three-week series of sniper attacks in the Washington area that killed 10 people and wounded three.

His lawyers had claimed Malvo was so indoctrinated by John Allen Muhammad, a man he saw as a father figure, that he was incapable of telling right from wrong. Muhammad, 42, was convicted last month in another of the shootings, and his jury recommended the death penalty.

The jurors in Malvo's trial now must decide whether the younger man also should be sentenced to death or life in prison without chance of parole.

Defense attorney Craig Cooley told the judge he expected more defense witnesses to testify for up to 3½ hours Monday before closing arguments can begin.

Cooley said those witnesses would include Malvo's father, Leslie, who lived with his son and the young man's mother in Jamaica until Lee Malvo was about 5. They became estranged when Lee Malvo was 10.

Leslie Malvo cried last month when he testified during the trial that he taught his son to ride a bicycle and play catch, and bought him ice cream almost every night.

He described him as "manageable" and "obedient."

"I love him very much," Leslie Malvo said.

Lee Malvo's trial had been mostly devoid of emotional moments, but it turned gut-wrenching last week when the sentencing phase began. Jurors wept during testimony by relatives of some of the victims.

Vijay Walekar, who lost his brother, Premkumar Walekar, said his sister-in-law still cries every time he calls her.

"I have to keep reminding myself that my brother is no longer with us," Walekar said quietly.

Franklin's daughter, Katrina Hannum, said she "lost my whole family the day I lost my mother."

Myrtha Cinada, whose father, Pascal Charlot, was killed, avoided looking at Malvo until the end of her testimony.

Then, she turned toward him and told him: "You are evil. You're insane because you took my father's life. Because of you, he didn't have a chance to see his great-grandchild. That's insane of you to do. You're evil."

But on the defense side, Esmie McLeod, vice principal at a high school once attended by Malvo in his native Jamaica, said she remembered "a sweet child that he would be any parent's pride and joy."

And Winsom Maxwell, a teacher in Jamaica who briefly took Malvo into her home when he was 11, described him as "a sad boy searching for love."

By Sonja Barisic

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