Muhammad attorney: It wasn't about the book
Although serial killer John Allen Muhammad chose to represent himself at his 2006 trial for six sniper murders in Montgomery County, Baltimore attorney J. Wyndal Gordon volunteered to help the already convicted gunman, free of charge, and did so.
And in last Sunday's Baltimore Sun, after Muhammad had been executed in Virginia, Gordon made what seemed like a shocking admission: that he only entered the case so he could write a book about it.
"In the back of my mind," Gordon told the Sun, "I knew there was some kind of writing -- a book or something -- involved in this case."
That kind of comment didn’t sit well with the lawyers who actually handled the nuts-and-bolts of prosecuting -- or defending -- Muhammad for some of the 15 homicides he and Lee Boyd Malvo are thought to have committed during a 10-month cross-country rampage in 2002. Muhammad was executed for one of those killings, of Dean Meyers in Manassas, prosecuted by Prince William Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul B. Ebert, who witnessed last week’s lethal injection.
“An attorney’s duty is to represent his client,” Ebert said. “His intention ought to be that and that alone... This is why people have low opinions of attorneys.”
Gordon said the book was not his ulterior motive.
“Let me be clear,” he said Tuesday. “I didn’t do the case with a book in mind. I did the case because in the unpopular cases, we all have a tendency to ignore the constitutional issues the case raises.” He also said he was curious about the case, after its initial trials in Virginia, and spent his own money bringing in witnesses.
Gordon acknowledged that he only visited Muhammad once in prison, but that he had hundreds of pages of letters from him. He said the book was Muhammad’s idea, formed only after his convictions in Montgomery County, and that the working title is “Jury of Our Fears.”
-- Tom Jackman
November 18, 2009; 9:29 AM ET
Categories: D.C. Sniper , Tom Jackman , Updates | Tags: john allen muhammad; j. wyndal gordon; book
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