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Tucson police question DC sniper about golf course murder

Jerry R. Taylor is shown in an undated family photo. Taylor was killed in March, 2002, while practicing chip shots at Fred Enke Golf Course.

Jerry R. Taylor is shown in an undated family photo. Taylor was killed in March, 2002, while practicing chip shots at Fred Enke Golf Course.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Lee Boyd Malvo met Thursday with police from Tucson who are investigating whether Malvo and fellow Washington area sniper John Allen Muhammad were responsible for the golf course shooting of Jerry Taylor in March 2002, according to Malvo’s lawyer.

Malvo spent about two hours speaking with Tucson detectives at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility in Boyds, said William Brennan. Malvo, already serving a life term in Virginia for sniper shootings, is in Maryland awaiting sentencing for six sniper killings in Montgomery County during October 2002.

Brennan would not discuss the substance of the meeting.

Tucson police have long sought to speak with Malvo about the March 19, 2002 murder of Jerry Taylor, 60, who died from a single gunshot fired from long range as he practiced chip shots. The case has never been conclusively tied to Muhammad and Malvo. Taylor’s family has also tried for several years to find out if Muhammad and Malvo were the killers.

Capt. Bill Richards, commander of the violent crimes division with Tucson police, declined to comment Thursday, except to say that “we do feel that in the very near future, we’ll be able to discuss things … in a broader sense.”

Taylor, 60, was playing at the Fred Enke Golf Course in Tucson when he was struck by the random bullet. His body was moved after the shooting and his wallet was near the body, but nothing had been taken.

After his arrest Oct. 24, 2002 at a Maryland highway rest stop, Malvo told authorities that he had shot a senator on a golf course in Arizona. Taylor was not a senator. Muhammad and Malvo were visiting Muhammad’s older sister at the time of the murder, but police didn’t have enough evidence to prove they were behind Taylor’s death.

Muhammad and Malvo were arrested for 10 murders and three woundings in the Washington, D.C. area during a three-week period in October 2002. They were accused of roaming the area in a Chevrolet Caprice with a Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle that they fired from the trunk of the car at random victims.

They are suspects in earlier shootings that year in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland and Washington state and are reportedly linked to shootings in Florida, Texas and California.

Both were convicted of separate Virginia killings in 2003. Muhammad was sentenced to death while Malvo was given a life prison term.

They were sent to Maryland last year to stand trial for six murders in Montgomery County. Muhammad was convicted in May, a case that included testimony against him by Malvo. Earlier this month, Malvo formally pleaded guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 9.

Brennan said he planned to contact authorities in other jurisdictions where Muhammad and Malvo are accused of sniper shootings to discuss a larger plea deal that would allow Malvo to serve his life sentence in federal prison.

Virginia prosecutors, however, oppose such a deal.

Associated Press Writer Matthew Barakat in Springfield, Va. contributed to this report.

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