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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Judge to Allow Malvo's Statements to Prison Guards

Aired September 2, 2003 - 19:06   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: And we've got an update right now in another case, the once that had people in the Washington, D.C., area afraid to go outside last year, afraid in much of the country, in fact.
A couple of Maryland prison guards say they heard sniper suspect Lee Boyd Malvo bragging about the shootings. The judge in the case had to decide whether to allow that testimony in an upcoming trial.

CNN's Patty Davis joins us with the ruling. But first, Patty, give us some details about Malvo's alleged conversation.

PATTY DAVIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, Malvo's alleged statements to two prison guards at Baltimore Super Max are absolutely chilling.

Captain Joseph Stracke says that Malvo told him he shot a teenage boy outside a Maryland medical school to get Montgomery County Police Chief Charles Moose upset.

According to Stracke, Malvo said the real plan was to shoot a busload of kids at that school but it didn't work out.

Another guard says Malvo laughed about the murder of Linda Franklin outside a Home Depot, saying it was his work and boasting that he took her head off. That guard said Malvo told him that if he got out, he would do the exact same thing over again.

Now, the judge's ruling that Malvo allegedly -- his statements that were voluntary is what she said, and that now means that a jury will get to hear these guards testify about their conversations with him -- Anderson.

COOPER: And I mean, I don't quite get it. Does it point to motives behind the shootings or alleged shootings anything that came out in the conversations?

DAVIS: Well, that was the most interesting things about the testimony of these guards. Malvo allegedly said that the motive was money. You'll recall that someone claiming to be the sniper had demanded $10 million to stop the killings.

A guard also said that Malvo told him that he hated white people. Malvo said he and his alleged accomplice, John Mohammed, killed people of all races to throw police off during that sniper spree. One criminal defense attorney told me that it is interesting prosecutors fought so hard to include Malvo's chats with the prison guards, that perhaps their case is not as air tight as they're claiming in the media -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Patty Davis, thanks very much.

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