Down the hall, a grand jury deliberated the cases against numerous defendants in Fairfax County, including Malvo. If it finds enough evidence exists against Malvo, it will indict him on any or all of the charges against him in Fairfax County: capital murder committed during an act of terrorism, capital murder killing of more than one person in three years, and use of a firearm in the killing.
The grand jury had not returned indictments by press time Tuesday.
Petit was “looking to get as much information as possible,” he said after the hearing. Petit was seeking documents about Malvo, including school records, mental health records and transcripts from any interviews with police among other types of records that may be held in Virginia, Petit said afterward.
Petit previously requested those documents in Fairfax Juvenile and Domestic Relations court, where Judge Charles J. Maxfield denied his request. Tuesday, Circuit Court Judge Jane Roush ruled Petit’s motion could not be granted because Petit was appealing a juvenile court decision in the circuit court, despite the fact that the case had already moved from the juvenile court’s jurisdiction.
After the hearing, Petit said it is “likely” he will renew the motions in Circuit Court within three or four weeks.
“They have fought to keep me out of the case. They have fought to keep me from seeing [Malvo] when he is being questioned. Why are they fighting it so much? It makes me wonder what they are trying to hide,” Petit said after the hearing.
After the hearing, Petit told reporters that his role in court today was to “represent the best interests of the child,” however that may affect the defense team. In this case, Petit acknowledged, he and the defense team are both trying to gain information from the prosecution.
Petit said he would continue to work on Malvo’s behalf until the court removes him from the case. That may happen shortly, as Malvo will turn 18 in February. Petit said he expects Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert F. Horan to argue for his removal.
A guardian ad litem is an adult appointed by the court to represent the interests of a minor. Usually, the court appoints an attorney, such as Petit. Malvo’s mother, Una James, 38, was deported Dec. 14 from Seattle to Jamaica. James and Malvo were illegal immigrants to the United States.
Defense attorney Thomas Walsh said after the hearing that he doesn’t anticipate trying Malvo’s case until after the trial of the other suspect, John Allen Muhammad, 42, in Prince William County. Muhammad’s trial is currently scheduled to begin Oct. 14.
Malvo is charged with the murder of Linda Franklin, 47. Franklin was killed in October 2002 by a single bullet in the parking lot of a Falls Church Home Depot. Muhammad has been indicted in Prince William County with the October 2002 murder of Dean Harold Meyers, 53. Meyers was also killed by a single bullet while refueling his car at a Sunoco gas station north of Manassas.
The sniper suspects are charged with a total of 10 killings in the Washington D.C.-metropolitan area. Authorities in Alabama, Louisiana and Washington state have also charged Malvo and Muhammad with killings in their jurisdictions.