Thirtieth Circuit Court Judge Tammy McElyea on Friday rejected a petition in Wise County Circuit Court to change his name because he believed it would make it safer if other inmates knew him by a name other than the one connected to a series of sniper-like shootings that left several people dead and others wounded in Maryland, Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Malvo was convicted on March 10, 2004, of two counts of capital murder and one count of use of a firearm in Chesapeake Circuit Court; convicted in Spotsylvania County Circuit Court on Oct. 26, 2004, of one count of capital murder, one count of attempted capital murder, and two counts of use of a firearm; and convicted in Montgomery County, Md., on Nov. 8, 2006, of six counts of firstdegree murder.
Malvo is serving a sentence of life without parole for the multiple felony convictions. In his court petition, Malvo said he wants to change his name due to concern for “his safety, reduce the risk of assault by other inmates due to the notoriety of his crimes.”
In her decision, McElyea notes that Virginia law allows courts to grant an inmate’s application for a name change if the court finds good cause exists, and provided a three-page opinion of why none does for Malvo.
“Although having been incarcerated for over seven years on convictions of notoriety, the petitioner does not allege that during his imprisonment he has ever been actually threatened or harmed by another inmate for any cause,” wrote McElyea.
“To the contrary, the petitioner’s stated reason for seeking a name change is based upon his belief that, despite his past experience while incarcerated, he is at future risk of increased personal harm from other inmates due to the notoriety of his convictions.”