William Franklin recounted the night of Oct. 14, the night his wife Linda Franklin, 47, was shot immediately after they finished two hours of shopping at Home Depot in Seven Corners in Falls Church.
"It sounded like a board hitting the ground. It was loud enough for it to stand out in my mind," said Franklin. "I felt something hit the side of my face, which made me look around to see what happened. I looked towards the rear of the car and saw my wife laying on the ground. There was nothing I could do so I called the police."
When asked by the defense if he knew what had hit him, he replied, "At the time I didn't know, now I know it was her blood."
Franklin was the first to testify during the preliminary hearing of John Lee Malvo, 17, who is in court for the Oct. 14 shooting of Linda Franklin, 47.
ON TUESDAY, Jan. 14, the public and media listened to the first official presentation of some of the evidence that will be used by the prosecution of Malvo.
Fairfax County received requests from more than 130 people from 32 different media organizations, including people from Virginia, Maryland, D.C., Alabama, New York and Washington state, as well as Germany and England, according to Kathy Simmons of the Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs. Twelve television stations, 12 different newspapers, five radio stations and two magazines and one wire service have already requested access to the court proceedings.
At least four sketch artists were in the courtroom on Tuesday and 10 police officers monitored the room, including two who sat directly behind Malvo during the entire hearing.
Franklin, who came into the courtroom to listen following the second witness, sat on the opposite side of the courtroom from Malvo, who was dressed in a dark green jumpsuit labeled "Fairfax County Jail" on the back.
EVIDENCE IN FOUR CASES reveal a number of common denominators, said Robert F. Horan Jr., Fairfax County Commonwealth's attorney. "All were shot in ambush, all were shot by rifle and all were shot by the same rifle."
Fingerprints on the rifle, as well as fingerprints of key pieces of evidence, link Malvo to at least four of the shootings, said Horan: the Oct. 9 shooting of Dean Myers, 53, at a gas station in Manassas; the Oct. 14 shooting of Linda Franklin; the man wounded by a sniper bullet as he left the Ponderosa Steak House in Ashland on Oct. 19 and the shooting of Montgomery County bus driver Conrad Johnson, 35, on Oct. 22.
Ten people testified on Tuesday, including two Prince William County police officers who found a plastic bag filled with cinnamon-coated raisins in the woods behind the Ponderosa Steak House that they say had Malvo's fingerprints on them. Horan also submitted evidence of a plastic bag — also with Malvo's fingerprints, said Horan — that police found tacked on to a tree with a message to police, a message similar to one found on a branch of a tree on the crime scene of Conrad Johnson.
"For you Mr. Police. Call me God. Do not release this to the press. Your incompetence has cost another life."
Two phone calls were made to police during the sniper attacks, which Horan also claims to be made by Malvo.
More than 10 more people are scheduled to testify on Wednesday, Jan. 15, after the Connection's press deadline.
The Jan. 14 preliminary hearing took place at Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court in Fairfax.