A jury Tuesday spared Lee Boyd Malvo a death sentence, deciding instead to send him to prison for the rest of his life for the murder of Linda Franklin at a Home Depot store in Seven Corners.
The convicted Washington-area sniper, who was 17 when the shootings occurred, was given a life sentence for each of the two counts of capital murder.
The jury, which deliberated about 8 and 1/2 hours on the penalty phase of the trial, found the aggravating factors necessary for the death penalty were present as circumstances in the murder, but nonetheless opted to give Malvo a sentence of life instead of death.
His formal sentence will be set by Judge Jane Marum Roush in March, but she cannot impose a death penalty without a jury recommending it.
Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Horan Jr. said shortly after the penalty was announced that Malvo's immature appearance and the timing of the case may have helped him.
Malvo was "very lucky that he looks a lot younger than he is . . . ," Horan told reporters when commenting on the jury's decision.
"We used to have a theory when I was a very young prosecutor that whatever you do, don't try one on Christmas week."That must be the reason why this creep didn't get the same thing his buddy did - it's not as if he's not a cold-blooded killer.
When this "impressionable teenager" gets paroled, let's get him a bus ticket to Brookline, MA to pay back for Willie Horton.