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Witness testimony underway in second DC sniper trial

[JURIST] John Allen Muhammad [BBC profile], representing himself, began questioning witnesses Friday in his second trial [JURIST report] involving the three-week shooting spree [BBC backgrounder] in the Washington, DC area in 2002. Jury selection in the trial began on Monday [JURIST report]. In his opening statement, Muhammad portrayed himself as a distraught father who was in Maryland to search for his children, who he lost in a custody dispute. Muhammad also told jurors that his evidence, relying on "quantum physics, immaterial evidence and material evidence," will show jurors that both Muhammad and accomplice Lee Boyd Malvo [BBC profile] are innocent. Muhammad has already been sentenced to death [JURIST report] for one murder in Virginia, and now faces six murder charges in Maryland. Malvo was also convicted of the Virginia murder and is serving a life sentence.

In her opening statement, Deputy State's Attorney Katherine Winfree said the prosecution's evidence would include eye witnesses and DNA evidence implicating Muhammad. The prosecution is not seeking the death penalty [JURIST report] in this case. AP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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