VIRGINIA BEACH, Va - More than 20 were shot, 13 died, seven were wounded andcountless people were impacted by the deadly intentions of JohnAllen Muhammad and his young protégé Lee Boyd Malvo.
"It's easy to bring back the memories of what happened and howterrorized the east coast was," Jerry Haggerty told WAVY.com.
Haggerty served as foreman on the Virginia Beach jury thatconvicted Muhammad and sentenced him to death. He said he andfellow jurors took their responsibility seriously and weighed allof the evidence.
"It had a heavy burden on a lot of people, particularly with theseverity of the trial and the results," he explained.
The trial that took place in Virginia Beach in 2003 was for DeanMeyers' murder. The "Beltway Sniper" as Muhammad was named, killedMeyers while he pumped gas in Manassas, Virginia. However duringthe trial, prosecutors laid out the details of every shooting fromMaryland to D.C., to Alabama and the Commonwealth.
Haggerty recalled jurors were convinced of Muhammad's guilt, butdeciding he should die was not a simple task.
"There were some strong opinions on both sides. One individualsaid she no longer believed in the death penalty. Others said he'sguilty and according to what we've been presented if we found this,this, and this, to be the case, then we should vote for the deathpenalty...We had some heated discussions."
Ultimately he said, "We didn't see any remorse. I'm still notaware of him ever apologizing to any of his victims. We believed inour hearts he'd do it again. We felt that was enough to say ifanybody deserved the death penalty, he did."
With the appointment in a death chamber just hours away, defenseattorneys continue to argue Muhammad has a mental illness.
Monday, Muhammad's attorney Jon Sheldon said of Muhammad's mood,"Even the coming of one's own execution, somebody that is severelymentally ill just responds differently...he hasn't responded to theevents that are going on around him."
Haggerty told WAVY.com Muhammad's attorneys never made thosearguments during the trial - and don't change his mind now.
"I think it was the right decision, and I still think it's theright decision," he said.
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