A collective timeline of the DC Sniper case, from 2002 to 2019

A look back on the order of events, from the meeting of Malvo and Muhammad, to the 2019 Supreme Court case.

Lee Boyd Malvo, pictured here at the capital murder trial of John Allen Muhammad, at the Virginia Beach Circuit Court, was sentenced to life in prison. His sentence is getting a second look at the Supreme Court. (REUTERS / Reuters Photographer – stock.adobe.com)

This timeline originally appeared in our November 2019 issue, to accompany the feature, “The DC Sniper’s New Day in Court.” Find the full story here.


October 2000
Malvo and Muhammad have a chance meeting at an electronics store
in Antigua.


January 2001
After a few months of friendship, Malvo—who was without the supervision of his parents—moves in with Muhammad briefly.

October 2001
Muhammad had later helped Malvo and his mother move to Florida, but in October, Malvo ran away and reunited with Muhammad, now living in Bellingham, Washington.

By now, Muhammad has lost his biological children in a contentious custody battle.


Feb. 16, 2002
Tacoma, Washington—Keenya Cook, 21, is shot point blank by Malvo at her aunt and uncle’s home. The home was selected because the residents were friends with Muhammad’s ex-wife; Lee Boyd Malvo later tells his psychologist it was a test.

Spring/Summer 2002
The men go on a shooting spree that includes victims in Los Angeles, Tucson, Clearwater, Florida, Denton, Texas, and Hammond, Louisiana.

Paul LaRuffa was the first of the DC Snipers’ many victims in the Washington region. He was shot five times outside his restaurant in Maryland. (Photo by Aaron Spicer)

Sept. 52002
Clinton, Maryland [around 10:30 p.m.]—Paul LaRuffa, 55, is shot multiple times outside his restaurant, Margellina, before being robbed of his laptop and $3,500. This was the first shooting in the DC region.

Sept. 14, 2002
Silver Spring, Maryland [around 10:10 p.m.]—Rupinder Oberoi, 22, is wounded after being shot outside Hillandale Beer & Wine.

Sept. 15, 2002
Brandywine, Maryland [around 10 p.m.]—Muhammad Rashid, 32, is shot and wounded while closing Three Roads Liquors.

Oct. 2, 2002
Aspen Hill, Maryland [around 5:20 p.m.]—Shot fired at Michaels craft store; no one hit.

Wheaton, Maryland [around 6 p.m.]—James D. Martin, 55, is fatally shot in a Shoppers parking lot.

Oct. 3, 2002
Rockville, Maryland [around 7:41 a.m.]—James L. Buchanan, 39, is killed while mowing the lawn at a Fitzgerald Auto Mall.

Aspen Hill, Maryland [around 8:12 a.m.]—Premkumar Walekar, 54, is filling his taxicab with gas at a Mobil station when he is fatally shot.

Silver Spring, Maryland [around 8:37 a.m.]—Sarah Ramos, 34, is fatally shot in the head on a bench.

Kensington, Maryland [around 9:58 a.m.]—Lori Ann Lewis-Rivera, 25, is killed while vacuuming her minivan at a Shell station.

Washington, DC [around 9:20 p.m.]—Pascal Charlot, 72, is killed walking on Georgia Avenue NW.

Oct. 4, 2002
Fredericksburg, Virginia [around 2:30 p.m.]­—Caroline Seawell, 43, is wounded loading bags into her minivan at a Michaels.

Oct. 7, 2002
Bowie, Maryland [around 8:08 a.m.]—Iran Brown, 13, is critically wounded in front of Benjamin Tasker Middle School.

Oct. 9, 2002
Manassas, Virginia [around 8:18 p.m.]—Dean Meyers, 53, is killed at a Sunoco station after filling his car with gas.

Oct. 11, 2002
Fredericksburg, Virginia [around 9:30 a.m.]—Kenneth Bridges, 53, is fatally shot at an Exxon station; Authorities shut down entrance ramps to I-95 and Route 1.

Linda Franklin was killed at the Arlington Home Depot. Here, police search for clues on Oct. 15, 2002 (Associated Press / Photo by DOUG MILLS)

Oct. 14, 2002
Falls Church, Virginia [around 9:15 p.m.]—Linda Franklin, 47, an FBI analyst, is killed while loading supplies into her trunk at The Home Depot.

The DC Snipers victims extended across the country and throughout Virginia. Here, law enforcement secures a crime scene after a shooting in Ashland, Virginia. (Associated Press / Photo by J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE)

Oct. 19, 2002
Ashland, Virginia [around 7:59 p.m.]—Jeffrey Hopper, 37, is wounded after being shot leaving a Ponderosa Steakhouse; Investigators find a note tacked to a tree.

Oct. 20, 2002
Investigators compare the calls from the tip line, to Rockville Police and a phone call confession to an Ashland priest from the snipers; the confession hints at an earlier Alabama liquor store robbery-homicide. These calls are considered the crack in the case.

Oct. 21, 2002
Police receive a call from sniper(s) traced to an Exxon payphone in Glen Allen, Virginia; Two illegal immigrants are arrested, but no connection to attacks discovered, and later released.

Oct. 22, 2002
Silver Spring, Maryland [around 5:56 a.m.]—Conrad Johnson, 35, is killed standing on the top step of his Montgomery County Ride On Bus.

Oct. 23, 2002
Image of John Muhammad is faxed to sniper task force and investigators identify make, model and plate of Chevrolet Caprice suspect is driving.
BOLO issued for Muhammad, Malvo and vehicle.

Montgomery Police Chief Charles Moose holds press conference and says, “We have caught the sniper like a duck in a noose,” per sniper request.

Oct. 24, 2002
Myersville, Maryland [around 12:54 a.m.]—Civilian spots Malvo and Muhammad sleeping in Caprice at I-70 rest stop; FBI takes them into custody at 3:30 a.m.

Muhammad is arraigned on a preliminary federal weapons laws violation charge and Malvo is held as a material witness and juvenile in Baltimore.

Oct. 25, 2002 
Montgomery County, Maryland, prosecutors announce Muhammad and Malvo will face six first-degree murder charges and they will seek the death penalty for Muhammad.

Oct. 29, 2002
Virginia prosecutors file capital murder charges against Muhammad and Malvo.

John Allen Muhammad (middle) and Lee Boyd Malvo were apprehended on Oct. 24, 2002. Both were charged with capital murder. (REUTERS / Reuters Photographer – stock.adobe.com)


Jan. 15, 2003
Charles Maxfield, a juvenile court judge in Fairfax County, rules Malvo will be tried as an adult in the death of FBI Analyst Linda Franklin.

July 2, 2003
Malvo’s trial is moved to Chesapeake, Virginia.

July 16, 2003
A circuit judge moves Muhammad’s murder trial to Virginia Beach.

Sep. 17, 2003
Judge Jane Marum Roush rules the death penalty is a possible punishment for Malvo if he is convicted.

Nov. 10, 2003
Arraignment and jury selection begin for Malvo’s trial, in which he is charged for the shooting death of Linda Franklin.

Nov. 17, 2003
Muhammad is found guilty of three charges, including one count of capital murder.

(REUTERS / Reuters Photographer – stock.adobe.com)

Nov. 24, 2003
A Virginia Beach jury sentences Muhammad to death for the murder of Dean Meyers.

Dec. 18, 2003
A jury finds Malvo guilty of capital murder, terrorism and use of a firearm in the Oct. 14 shooting death of the FBI analyst.


March 10, 2004
Malvo is sentenced to life in prison without parole, following the guilty finding in the Linda Franklin case.

Oct. 26, 2004
Malvo takes a plea bargain, is found guilty and sentenced to life without parole for the death of Kenneth Bridges and shooting of Caroline Seawell.


March 1, 2005
The U.S. Supreme Court bans death penalty punishments for minors.


May 23, 2006
As part of a Montgomery County, Maryland, plea deal, Malvo testifies against Muhammad during the older shooter’s trial.

Oct. 10, 2006
Malvo confesses to the six shootings in Montgomery County, Maryland—the area with the most incidents—and pleads guilty.

Nov. 8, 2006
Malvo is sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in Montgomery County, Maryland.


Nov. 10, 2009
Jarratt, Virginia—Muhammad is executed by lethal injection at the Greensville Correctional Center.


July 25, 2012
The Supreme Court of the United States decides that sentencing a juvenile to life without possibility of parole violates the Eighth Amendment.


June 2013
Maryland and Virginia federal courts receive a petition from Malvo’s attorneys to vacate his life sentences.


June 2014
Malvo’s claim that his life sentences without parole violate the U.S. Constitution is rejected by a Virginia federal judge; his attorney’s appeal the next month.


Jan. 25, 2016
The U.S. Supreme Court decides ruling in Montgomery v. Louisiana and determines the decision in Miller v. Alabama can be applied retroactively.


May 26, 2017
Malvo’s cases are sent back to Chesapeake and Spotsylvania County for resentencing after a federal judge overturns two of his life sentences.


June 21, 2018
Based on Miller v. Alabama, a federal appeals court agrees Malvo’s four Virginia life sentences must be vacated.


March 18, 2019
The Supreme Court agrees to hear Malvo’s case, which challenges his life sentences.

October 16, 2019
The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments to determine if Malvo’s life without parole sentences should be vacated due to the 2012 and 2016 cases.

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