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Lawyers for accused Boston Marathon bomber due in court

(Reuters) - Attorneys for the accused Boston Marathon bomber on Wednesday will ask a federal judge to give them until at least September 2015 to prepare for his trial on charges related to the largest mass-casualty attack on U.S. soil since 9/11.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a 20-year-old native of Russia's restive Chechnya region who moved to the United States a decade ago, faces the possibility of execution if he is convicted of killing three people and injuring 264 with a pair of homemade pressure-cooker bombs in the April 15, 2013 attack as well as shooting dead a university police officer three days later.

Defense attorneys have said they need time to review massive amounts of evidence collected by the government's investigation into the bombing. They also may seek to challenge before U.S. District Judge George O'Toole the death penalty threat.

Last month, prosecutors said they would seek to have Tsarnaev put to death if he is convicted of charges including use of a weapon of mass destruction.

Tsarnaev, who is being held in a prison west of Boston, has pleaded not guilty to all charges. His attorneys have not yet said if they will seek to have his trial moved from U.S. District Court in Boston, just 2 miles from the spot where the bombs ripped through a crowd of spectators at the race's crowded finish line.

The trial, which will draw intense international attention, will pit prosecutors from the office of U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, who last year convicted gangster James "Whitey" Bulger, against a defense team including top Boston public defender Miriam Conrad and Judy Clarke, a death penalty defense specialist from California.

Tsarnaev and his 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan, are accused of planting the bombs, which killed three people including an 8-year-old boy, Martin Richard. Three days after the bombing, FBI investigators released surveillance photos showing the pair, wearing baseball caps and carrying backpacks, near the site of the blast.

That prompted the pair to attempt a hasty escape from Boston. Authorities say they shot a Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus police officer in an unsuccessful attempt to steal his weapon, an incident that sparked a car chase and gun battle with police that ended with Tamerlan dead.

Dzhokhar escaped that encounter, prompting a day-long lockdown of most of the Boston area until police found him, hiding in a dry-docked boat in a suburban backyard, on the evening of April 19.

Three college friends of the defendant are due to go on trial in June, charged with obstructing the investigation by removing a laptop and backpack containing fireworks casings from his dorm room at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, about 60 miles south of Boston.

In addition to Richard, 8, the marathon bombs killed Krystle Campbell, 29, and Chinese national Lu Lingzi, 23. Tsarnaev is also accused in the shooting death of Sean Collier, 27, the university police officer.

(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by David Gregario)

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violetsp9 February 12 2014 at 8:14 AM

sounds like a family of terrorists and they kill all witnesses

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JLM February 12 2014 at 8:12 AM

There's going to be an awful lot of money spent on this POS. Taking a year and a half to review the evidence is ridiculous. They're just looking for a technical way to get him off. He can't use affluenza as an excuse. How about brofluence. He was under the influence of his brother.... Just execute him and be done with it. Let his maker decide whether he's guilty or not.

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mkraven77 February 12 2014 at 8:12 AM

There should be a different set of rules for prosecuting TERRORISTS. A public hanging shown on all the major news may be in order.

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Richard February 12 2014 at 8:14 AM

No delays, no more reviewing, no more time . A quick speedy trial then shoot him.

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1 reply
aaldrew Richard February 12 2014 at 8:20 AM


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whdlsn February 12 2014 at 8:07 AM

This is a real life terrorist, punish him. For the most part, the war on terror and been used as a tool to suppress law abiding citizen's Bill of Rights.

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ranm856 February 12 2014 at 8:13 AM

hang him by his little *********

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1 reply
aaldrew ranm856 February 12 2014 at 8:20 AM


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JOEM February 12 2014 at 7:59 AM

Slow death by letting him be in a cell with rats, bats,roaches , leaches, snakes, scorpions and tar and feathers so if his lawyers get him off everyone will always be able to see him and beware of the crazy man loco miscreant . OMG WHAT IS GOING ON IN THIS COUNTRY THE GOOD OLD USA HOME OF THE FREE AND THE BRAVE GOD BLESS AMERICA

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1 reply
alleykat74 JOEM February 12 2014 at 8:15 AM

It's our national anthem...Land of the free and the home of the Brave. Not that I like or care about this guy, but lets not get all patriotic without knowing the words to our National Anthem it really cheapens the message.

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mickylitz2 February 12 2014 at 7:58 AM

I believe in justice and defense for the accuse but let's get real people, this case should already be closed and this guy should be six feet under already.

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dexrmerritt February 12 2014 at 7:57 AM

and the Media pulls out all the groovy keen pictures of him...WTF

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carnut122 February 12 2014 at 7:57 AM

I'd like to suggest death by firecracker(lit one at a time).

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1 reply
nam2205 carnut122 February 12 2014 at 9:57 AM

Thats too quick.

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