Sniper suspect's former wife, son support death penalty
LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- The former wife of sniper suspect John Allen Muhammad and their son said Tuesday they support the death penalty for Muhammad if he's convicted of the shootings.
"If you can sit back in a car and kill someone... if he sit (sic) in a car and shot innocent people, if they find him guilty for that, yes," Carol Williams said in an exclusive interview on CNN's "Larry King Live."
Lindbergh Williams, Muhammad's son, agreed.
"Even though he's my father, in my eyes you reap what you sow, if you did it, you was (sic) man enough to do it, you are man enough to pay the consequences," he said, sitting in a darkened studio with his face in shadows. He did not want to be seen on national television.
Muhammad, 41, was charged by federal authorities as the killer in seven of the D.C.-area sniper shootings. He appeared in U.S. District Court Tuesday on a 20-count criminal complaint that could result in a death sentence.
His alleged accomplice, John Lee Malvo, 17, was not named in the federal complaint because of his age, but he has been charged -- as has Muhammad -- with murder and attempted murder in Virginia and Maryland.
The two are believed responsible for a string of random killings that began October 3 in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area and left 10 people dead and three wounded.
Carol Williams said she divorced her husband -- who later legally changed his last name from Williams to Muhammad -- because he cheated on her. Their relationship further deteriorated when Lindbergh went to visit his father in Tacoma, Washington, when he was 11, and Muhammad threatened to not let the boy return home to Louisiana.
Carol said she is thankful that lawyers in Baton Rouge and Tacoma finally resolved the situation and returned her son to her, because, she said, she believes that if Lin hadn't come back home, it might have been him who was Muhammad's alleged accomplice.
"Because he was a very controlling person, and everything had to go his way, and he controlled Lin," Carol said.
She said she believes that Muhammad's bad childhood, his failed marriages and the loss of custody of his children contributed to where he finds himself now.
"I think he just snapped," she said.
Lin said when he stayed with his father in Washington state, Muhammad would sometimes wake up screaming at night or jump if someone slammed a door. He attributed that to Muhammad's service in the Gulf War.
Both Carol and Lin saw Muhammad when he came to Baton Rouge this past summer to visit relatives. Muhammad brought Malvo, and introduced him as his son.
"He was a very cool person, very courteous," Lin said of Malvo.
"I think that Malvo was a very respectful child, I think he just wanted somebody to listen to him," Carol said.
Both mother and son said Muhammad never talked much about guns when they knew him, and was not often violent.
"At times he had an anger problem," Carol said.
She said she prays for the victims and their families.
"I pray for them, and hope and pray that they find some kind of way to get through this," she told King.
"I feel terrible, I would like to apologize to all of the victims, it was just uncalled for," Lin added.
The day before Muhammad and Malvo were captured asleep in their car at a Maryland rest stop, Carol said a man called her at work and threatened to kill her. She still doesn't know who it was.
"Right now I can't sleep because I feel that if it's actually him and they hadn't caught him, I would have been in the number, I would have been one of the ones he killed," she said.