Court sets execution date for DC sniper

RICHMOND, Va. - September 16, 2009 The attorney general's office last week requested that the execution be on Nov. 9, but Prince William County Circuit Judge Mary Grace O'Brien chose a day later. The date, which falls on a Tuesday, was picked so courts would be open the day before in case they have to take up last-minute appeals, said Jonathan Sheldon, Muhammad's attorney.

The date was picked during an early morning conference call with the judge, the attorney general's office and Sheldon.

Sheldon said Muhammad will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court and ask Gov. Timothy M. Kaine for clemency.

Muhammad was sentenced to death for the slaying of Dean Meyers, one of 10 people shot to death during a 2002 rampage that terrorized the Washington, D.C., area. Muhammad and teenage accomplice Lee Boyd Malvo killed six people in Alabama and Louisiana before moving on to Maryland, D.C. and Virginia, where Meyers was shot at a Manassas gas station. Six others were wounded.

Malvo is serving life in prison for the shooting spree.

Last month a federal appeals court rejected Muhammad's argument that prosecutors withheld critical evidence and that Muhammad never should have been allowed to act as his own attorney for a portion of his trial because he was too mentally impaired.

The attorney general's office said it was preparing a statement Wednesday.

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