D.C. sniper Lee Boyd Malvo dropped his resentencing appeal after Virginia changed sentencing guidelines for juvenile offenders.
Under a new law signed by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, any person sentenced to life in prison as a juvenile is eligible for parole after serving 20 years, reported ABC News. Consequently, Malvo could be eligible for parole in Virginia as early as 2022.
Malvo was 17 years old when he participated in a three-week-long shooting spree with John Allen Muhammad in the area of the nation’s capital and nearby Maryland and Virginia. Muhammad was in his 40s at the time, and Malvo considered him a father figure. By the time the two were caught, 10 people in the area were killed and an additional three were injured. The two also were tied to at least 11 more shootings from the state of Washington state to Alabama, with five people killed in those attacks.
Muhammad was sentenced to death and executed in 2009. Malvo was sentenced to life without parole. He had been seeking a resentencing hearing due to his age but dropped it on Monday. If he had persisted, Malvo’s case would have appeared before the Supreme Court, who would have determined his eligibility.
In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled minors cannot be sentenced to life without possibility of parole unless the accused is “the rare juvenile offender whose crime reflects irreparable corruption.” Two lower courts agreed Malvo was entitled to a new hearing after the Supreme Court’s decision.
Arguments for Malvo’s case began on October 16 and a ruling was expected this summer.
Although Malvo could be eligible for parole in Virginia, it is unlikely he will be released from prison.
If Virginia paroles him, he would start serving six other life sentences in other jurisdictions.