Lawyers due in court in marathon bombing case

Associated Press
  • Prosecutors allege Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and brother detonated pressure-cooker bombs near finish line

Boston — Federal prosecutors and lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were due in court for a status hearing on motions that include defense requests to move the trial outside of Massachusetts and delay the trial’s start by at least 10 months.

U.S. District Judge George O’Toole Jr. was expected to discuss the motions during the hearing Thursday.

Tsarnaev, 21, has pleaded not guilty in the 2013 attack that killed three people and injured more than 260. He could face the death penalty.

Prosecutors allege that Tsarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan, detonated two pressure-cooker bombs near the marathon’s finish line. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed during a shootout with police several days after the bombings.

Tsarnaev’s trial is scheduled to begin in November. His attorneys have argued that they need more time to review the large volume of evidence turned over by prosecutors. They say the November trial date would give them about half the median preparation time allowed other defendants facing a federal death sentence over the past decade.

The defense argues that the trial should be moved outside the state, citing the emotional impact the bombing had on many local residents.

Tsarnaev’s lawyers also have filed motions to suppress physical evidence and electronically stored evidence. Prosecutors have filed a motion asking the judge to order the defense to disclose “mitigating factors” it intends to cite in arguments against the death penalty if Tsarnaev is convicted.