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Friday, June 16, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Malvo claims four more shootings, source says

The Washington Post

WASHINGTON — Lee Boyd Malvo told law-enforcement officials this spring that he and fellow sniper John Allen Muhammad are responsible for four shootings across the country that have not been publicly attributed to them, a source familiar with the case said.

A second source confirmed that investigators have received information implicating the snipers in those shootings, which claimed the lives of two men and wounded two others in the months before the October 2002 slayings that terrorized the Washington region. The sources declined to speak for attribution because of the sensitivity of the information.

Malvo was interviewed extensively by law-enforcement officials in preparation for his testimony at Muhammad's trial last month in Maryland.

It is unclear to what degree, if any, authorities have corroborated Malvo's new claims. He has provided conflicting accounts of shootings in the past and testified last month that he lied to investigators after he and Muhammad were arrested.

The claims bring the list of confirmed and suspected sniper shootings to 27, including 17 homicides, and add two states to the list of jurisdictions that could file charges against Muhammad and Malvo.

The first previously undisclosed homicide victim was a man shot in California in February or March 2002. The second was a 37-year-old Texas man shot in the head from a distance May 27 in a sparsely populated area of Denton, a Dallas suburb.

The two survivors are a 76-year-old Tucson, Ariz., man shot May 18, 2002, at a golf course in west-central Florida and a 54-year-old Louisiana man robbed and shot Aug. 1, 2002, after leaving a shopping mall in a suburb of Baton Rouge, La.

Malvo also said recently that he and Muhammad were involved in five homicides and two nonfatal shootings outside the Washington area to which they had previously been linked by varying amounts of physical and circumstantial evidence.

These are the slayings of Keenya Cook, 21, of Tacoma; Jerry Ray Taylor, 60, of Tucson; Million A. Woldemariam, 41, of Atlanta; Claudine Lee Parker, 52, of Montgomery, Ala.; and Hong Im Ballenger, 45, of Baton Rouge. The survivors are Kellie Adams, 27, of Montgomery; and Wright Williams Jr., 55, of Baton Rouge.

Unlike most of the Washington-area slayings, which targeted random victims shot from afar with a powerful rifle, some of the earlier shootings were conducted at close range with a .22-caliber handgun.

In September and October 2002, the snipers committed 10 homicides and wounded six people in the Washington area. Muhammad has been convicted of murder in Virginia and Maryland for his role in the sniper shootings and is awaiting execution in Virginia. Malvo was convicted of murder in Virginia, where he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, and has agreed to plead guilty to six counts of first-degree murder in the Maryland slayings. He took the stand for the state against Muhammad in Maryland.

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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