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Maryland judge rules DC sniper suspect can represent himself

[JURIST] A Maryland judge ruled Wednesday that DC sniper suspect John Allen Muhammad [Wikipedia profile] can represent himself during his upcoming trial on six counts of first degree murder related to the three-week series of shootings in the Washington, DC area in October 2002. Earlier this week, Muhammad sent a handwritten letter [Washington Post report] to Judge James L. Ryan asking to represent himself, saying he has "no confidence or trust" in his court-appointed public defenders. Ryan's rulings comes despite arguments from Muhammad's lawyers that he is not competent to stand trial [AP report].

Muhammad has already been convicted of murder and sentenced to death [JURIST report] for a shooting in Mannasas, Virginia. His second trial [JURIST report] in Montgomery County, Maryland is scheduled to begin May 1 [JURIST report]. AP has more.

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