June 9, 2017 / 11:53 PM / 2 years ago

Virginia appeals re-sentencing ruling for D.C. sniper Malvo

FILE PHOTO - Eighteen-year old sniper suspect Lee Malvo, (C), who was 17 at the time of the alleged crimes, appears in court during the trial of sniper suspect John Muhammad in Virginia Beach, Virginia, U.S. on October 22, 2003. REUTERS/Davis Turner/Pool/File Photo

(Reuters) - Virginia’s attorney general on Friday appealed a May federal court ruling tossing out life prison terms for one of the two men convicted of a 2002 deadly shooting spree in Washington, D.C.

Attorney General Mark Herring appealed the May 26 ruling by a U.S. district judge in Norfolk, Virginia, that Lee Boyd Malvo, one of the two so-called “Beltway snipers,” must be re-sentenced for two life sentences he received in Virginia, according to court documents.

The Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that mandatory life sentences were unconstitutional for juveniles and later found that the ruling should be applied retroactively.

Malvo, 32, was one of two men found guilty of committing a series of sniper shootings in fall 2002 that killed 10 people in the Washington, D.C., area. The shootings terrified people in the D.C. suburbs and along much of the Eastern Seaboard.

Malvo, who was 17 at the time of the shootings, received two life sentences in two Virginia counties, as well as additional life sentences in Maryland.

His co-defendant, John Allen Muhammad, was sentenced to death and was executed in 2009 in Virginia at age 48.

In the years following his conviction, Malvo said he was sexually abused by Muhammad from the age of 15 until the time they embarked on the shooting spree from inside a blue Chevrolet Caprice.

They were arrested in October 2002 when police discovered them sleeping in the car at a rest stop in Maryland.

The appeal documents were filed with the district court in Eastern Virginia but had yet to be filed with the Fourth District Court of Appeals that covers Virginia by Friday afternoon.

Reporting by Bernie Woodall in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Editing by Patrick Enright and Lisa Shumaker

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