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Family's prayers answered after Spotsylvania attack page 3
Sean Seawell was a Spotsylvania High School senior when a pair of snipers tried to take his mother's life

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Date published: 10/7/2012


Sean Seawell wasn't bothered that his mother was asked to testify at the trials, but he knew it might be an anxiety-laden experience for her. Instead, he saw her remain composed throughout those days.

"I was impressed," he said. "You never really know how people are going to react."

He didn't realize until last week that his mother had been questioned by Muhammad when the killer served as his own attorney during a murder trial in Montgomery County, Md.

"That takes some guts on [Muhammad's] part--probably even more on my Mom's part," Sean said. "She's pretty tough."

Both Sean and Caroline Seawell said justice was served in the trials in Virginia and Maryland for both killers.

Malvo received multiple life sentences related to the 10 murders and three attempted murders of that 21-day shooting spree, which included the killing of Philadelphia businessman Kenneth Bridges at a Spotsylvania Exxon. Malvo is expected to spend the rest of his life in a Virginia prison.

Muhammad was executed by lethal injection in Virginia in November 2009 for his role.

Neither Sean Seawell nor his mother took any joy in Muhammad's execution.

But as the day approached, Sean said he saw it as a means of relief from seven years of hearing about the shootings.

As resilient as he and his family were, "eventually, it beats you down," he said.


Sean Seawell and Lee Boyd Malvo are the same age.

It's a point Caroline Seawell didn't miss when the snipers were caught on Oct. 24, 2002.

It boggled her mind.

"I couldn't imagine a child being that evil by that age," she said last week.

In October 2002, Sean Seawell was traveling up and down Interstate 95 to baseball practices in the Manassas area as part of a showcase team, getting looked at by college and pro scouts.

At the same time, Lee Malvo was traveling that highway and others scouting out targets--human targets--with the only father figure he'd ever known for an extended time.

By all accounts, it was Muhammad who turned Malvo into a killer, systematically desensitizing him to the point where he would kill on command for no reason.

Sean Seawell finds it impossible to grasp how Malvo could have allowed himself to fall so completely under Muhammad's control.

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OCT. 2, 2002, 6 p.m.--Fatal shooting of James Martin, 55, outside a Wheaton, Md., supermarket.

OCT. 3, 2002, 7:41 a.m.--Fatal shooting of James L. "Sonny" Buchanan, 39, as he pushed a lawnmower in Rockville, Md.

OCT. 3, 2002, 8:12 a.m.--Fatal shooting of Premkumar A. Walekar, 54, at an Aspen Hill, Md., gas station.

OCT. 3, 2002, 8:37 a.m.--Fatal shooting of Sarah Ramos, 34, outside a Silver Spring, Md. retirement center.

OCT. 3, 2002, 9:58 a.m.--Fatal shooting of Lori Lewis-Rivera, 25, outside a Kensington, Md., gas station.

OCT. 3, 2002, 9:15 p.m.--Fatal shooting of Pascal Charlot, 72, while crossing Georgia Avenue in Northwest Washington.

OCT. 4, 2002--Shooting of Caroline Seawell , 43, a Spotsylvania County mother of two, in the parking lot of a Michaels craft store outside Spotsylvania Mall.

OCT. 7, 2002--Shooting of Iran Brown, 13, as he arrived at Tasker Middle School in Bowie, Md.

OCT. 9, 2002--Fatal shooting of Dean Harold Meyers, 53, outside a Manassas-area gas station.

OCT. 11, 2002--Fatal shooting of Philadelphia businessman Kenneth Bridges, 53, outside the Four-Mile Fork Exxon in Spotsylvania.

OCT. 14, 2002--Fatal shooting of FBI analyst Linda Franklin, 47, outside a Falls Church-area Home Depot.

OCT. 19, 2002--Shooting of Jeffrey Hopper, 37, outside a Ponderosa restaurant in Ashland in Hanover County.

OCT. 22, 2002--Fatal shooting of bus driver Conrad Johnson, 35, in Silver Spring, Md.

OCT. 24, 2002, 3:19 a.m.--John Allen Muhammad, 41, and Lee Boyd Malvo, 17, are arrested at a rest stop near Myersville, Md.

NOVEMBER 17, 2003--John Allen Muhammad is convicted for the capital murder of Dean Harold Meyers in Prince William County. Four months later he was sentenced to death.

DEC. 23, 2003--A jury gives Malvo his first life sentence without parole for capital murder for the shooting death of Linda Franklin in Fairfax County. He is serving multiple life sentences in Virginia's Red Onion maximum security prison.

NOV. 10, 2009--Muhammad is executed in Virginia.