The DC Sniper John Allen Muhammad has been executed by lethal injection, having been pronounced dead at 9:11 p.m. E.T. Read more on this story below.
The media that watched John Allen Muhammad’s execution say he was escorted into the death chamber at 8:58 p.m. wearing a blue shirt, blue jeans, and flip flops. They said Muhammad was clean cut.
Officials said Muhammad was “very unemotional” and didn’t even acknowledge them when they asked if he would like to make a final statement.
Earlier in the day his attorney, J. Wyndal Gordon, said Muhammad had no regrets and would die with dignity and Gordon still said he was innocent.
Muhammad met with one of his sons before his execution and talked with his attorney about the time he spent with his son before going to prison.
John Allen Muhammad, 48, was executed for a three-week killing spree in 2002 that killed 10 people.
From the Associated Press:
Muhammad was sentenced to death for killing Dean Harold Meyers at a gas station in northern Virginia. He and his teenage accomplice, Lee Boyd Malvo, are also suspected of fatal shootings in Alabama, Arizona, Louisiana and Washington state.
Prosecutors chose to put Muhammad and Malvo on trial in Virginia first because of the state’s willingness to execute killers. He and Malvo were also convicted of six other murders in Maryland and both were sentenced to six life terms.
The death penalty was later ruled out for Malvo because the U.S. Supreme Court barred the execution of juveniles, who was 17 during the killing spree.
The motive for the shootings in the nation’s capital region remains murky. Malvo said Muhammad wanted to use the plot to extort $10 million from the government to set up a camp in Canada where homeless children would be trained as terrorists. But Muhammad’s ex-wife has said she believes the attacks were a smoke screen for his plan to kill her and regain custody of their three children.
Muhammad has never testified or explained why he directed the attacks that terrorized the Washington region, with victims gunned down while doing everyday chores. People stayed indoors, and those who had to go outside weaved as they walked or bobbed their heads to make themselves less of a target.
The terror ended Oct. 24, 2002, when police captured Muhammad and Malvo as they slept at a Maryland rest stop in a car they had outfitted so a shooter could hide in the trunk and fire through a hole in the body of the vehicle.
Muhammad had been in and out of the military since he graduated from high school in Louisiana and entered the National Guard. A convert to Islam, John Allen Williams would later change his name to Muhammad.
He joined the Army in 1985 and trained in Washington state as a combat engineer. He did not take special sniper training but earned an expert rating in the M-16 rifle — the military cousin of the .223-caliber Bushmaster rifle used in the sniper shootings.
However, his life was full of failure. He was twice divorced, and after serving in the first Iraq war, he could never find financial stability.
He opened a karate school but it didn’t last; neither did his car repair shop. The man who looked for self-discipline in exercise and Islam found himself living in a homeless shelter in 2001 and a few months later was accused of shoplifting food.
On Tuesday, Muhammad met with immediate family members but did not have a spiritual adviser, Virginia Department of Corrections spokesman Larry Traylor said.
The families of those killed were ready for execution day.
Cheryll Witz was one of several victims’ relatives who planned to watch the execution. Malvo confessed that, at Muhammad’s direction, he shot her father, Jerry Taylor, on a Tucson, Ariz., golf course in March 2002.
“He basically watched my dad breathe his last breath,” Witz said. “Why shouldn’t I watch his last breath?”
Death penalty opponents planned vigils across the state, and some were headed for Jarratt, about an hour south of Richmond, for the execution at Greensville Correctional Center.
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