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Man Gets Jail Time for Lying About Seeing Sniper

January 08, 2003  | 

A Fairfax County judge has ordered a man who lied to police about witnessing one of October's DC-area sniper shootings to spend six months in jail, saying he deserved the maximum punishment because he showed "incredible callousness for the public welfare."

Matthew M. Dowdy, 37, of Falls Church offered what appeared to be the first eyewitness account of a sniper shooting when he gave police a detailed description of the Oct. 14 slaying of FBI analyst Linda Franklin, 47, outside a Home Depot store. Dowdy's report was broadcast to officers across the Washington region -- but it wasn't true.

During the hearing, Dowdy pleaded no contest to the charge of making a false statement to a law enforcement officer during the course of an investigation.

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