Statement Analysis®

D.C. Sniper John Allen Muhammad

John Allen Muhammad is accused of being the D.C. sniper who killed ten people in the Washington D.C. area in the fall of 2002. His alleged partner in crime is Lee Boyd Malvo. On October 20, 2003, Muhammad went on trial for the slaying of Dean Meyers who was gunned down outside of a northern Virginia gas station on October 9, 2002. Muhammad made the unusual and unwise move to serve as his own lawyer. According to the newspapers, in his opening statement Muhammad proclaimed his innocence. Let's see what Muhammad had to say. Here are some excerpts from his opening statement to the court and jury.

"And I say to these people. We know something happened. They wasn't there. I was. I know what happened, and I know what didn't happen."

Muhammad states "They wasn't there. I was." He is telling us he was present when these people were killed by the sniper. We see further evidence of his involvement when he states "I know what happened, and I know what didn't happen." In order for him to know what did or did not happen, he would have to be present when the sniper's shot rang out.

Muhammad thinks he is denying being the sniper. However, telling us he knows what happened and what did not happen is not a denial.

"The evidence, if we monitor step by step and be patient and listen to it carefully, it will show that I had nothing to do with these crimes. I had nothing to do with these crimes."

"We are looking for evidence, and the evidence will show I had nothing to do with these crimes, that I had nothing to do with these crimes directly or indirectly, that I know anything about these crimes, that I know any times of these crimes or anything pertaining to these crimes at all."

Four times he states he had "nothing to do with these crimes." This is typical language of a guilty person. An innocent person would directly deny this crime by stating "I didn't do it" or "I am not the sniper." Muhammad never makes this denial. It is easier for a person to lie using the word "never" than to state, "I didn't do it."

"You can lock a man up and forget he's there and go out and say every negative thing in the world you can possibly say about him based on a guess; and ironically about all this, once all this is over, by the grace of the law that I am found guilty, not guilty, these men, you know what they are going to do?"

Remember Muhammad told the jury, "I know what happened, and I know what didn't happen." Perhaps he let the truth slip out when he said "By the grace of the law that I am found guilty."

He then corrected himself and said "not guilty." However, saying that one is "not guilty" is not the same thing as saying "I didn't do it."

After the first day of the trial, Muhammad decided he was better off letting his court appointed attorneys take over the reigns. Based on what we saw in his opening statement, that was a smart move on his part.


On November 17, 2003, John Allen Muhammad was found guilty of murdering Dean Harold Meyers.


On November 10, 2009, John Allen Muhammad was executed by lethal injection at the Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt, Virginia.

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