A judge on Wednesday ordered Lee Boyd Malvo, 19, to serve life in jail without parole for his role in the 10 killings in 2002.

Malvo, who was a minor at the time the random shootings terrorised the Washington region in October 2002, had his sentence confirmed one day after his accomplice John Allen Muhammad was sentenced to death.

Malvo was found guilty of murder in a December trial and the jury ordered him jailed for life. Judge Jane Marum Roush confirmed the sentence.

The Jamaican-born Malvo still faces trial in other states for additional murders blamed on the sniper duo including Maryland and Alabama.

The Chesapeake trial was for the killing of Linda Franklin, an FBI analyst, on October 14, 2002, as she loaded her car at a shopping mall.

The Supreme Court is expected to rule in a matter of months on whether convicted murderers can be executed for their crimes if they are minors at the time of the offense.

Death penalty

A Virginia prosecutor, Paul Ebert, said he may attempt a new case against Malvo seeking the death penalty if the Supreme Court rules minors can be executed.

Malvo's defence had insisted during his trial that the teenager had been manipulated by Muhammad who had become a father figure for Malvo.

Only Malvo's fingerprints have been found on the rifles said to have been used in the shootings which left 10 dead and three wounded.

The two used a car specially adapted to hide a gunman in its rear section, where he could not be seen while shooting.

Muhammad and Malvo faced terrorism charges because prosecutors said the snipers had tried to get $10 million from the US authorities to stop the killings.

Muhammad was the first person to face the charge which was introduced in Virginia after the 11 September attacks on the US in 2001.

But prosecutors also suggested that he orchestrated the killings because he planned to murder his ex-wife Mildred to get back custody of their three children.