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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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dacore6 March 25 2014 at 10:44 AM

Quit picking on him; what's the big deal?
The good citizens of the Boston lock up will take care of him!

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Chrissy February 12 2014 at 2:37 PM

Over a year before Trail, Now That is excessive.

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KELLYSLK February 12 2014 at 2:17 PM

Wow, I thought this kid would have hung himself by now!

Oh so now we are suppose to feel bad for this murderer? Isn't this a pattern now?

THEY KILL our loved ones and now we should forgive them and give them a break?

NO!

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mvjwrb February 12 2014 at 1:30 PM

I'm totally confused. This piece of excrement engaged in terrorism for "the cause," yet he's such a coward that he pleads not guilty? The time and money he's wasting is almost as much of a crime as the bombing itself.

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kenmac7 February 12 2014 at 12:42 PM

As much as I think this misguided young man should be made to pay dearly for the poor choices he made that resulted in the death and maiming of innocent people in Boston, I have been troubled by the Federal Government's complete and massive overkill in the pursuit, investigation, and prosecution of this case. Moreover, this arrogance, if you will, could jeopardize a successful outcome of the trial itself.

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eaglekeeper73 February 12 2014 at 1:10 PM

Your an idiot.

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wildwes007 February 12 2014 at 12:33 PM

LET ME GET THE STRAIT....... THE SCUM BAG LAWYERS OF THIS CAMEL HUMPING MURDER WANT TO GET THE US TAX PAYERS TO PAY THEM FOR TWO AND ONE HALF YEARS TO DEFEND THIS 8 YR OLD CHILD KILLER.......I WOULD DO IT IF THE SCUM BAG LAWYERS HAD THE SAME SENTENCE AT THE CAMEL HUMPER.

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dacore6 February 12 2014 at 12:32 PM

Toss him in jail and maybe some nice fellow in with him will cut him up with a razor blade. Nice way to end a fellow like him.

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eaglekeeper73 February 12 2014 at 1:10 PM

Yeah

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Bob February 12 2014 at 12:25 PM

They need more time to look at the evidence???????????????? Come on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I guess maybe I missed it but who is paying for his defense attorneys???????????????????????? Only in America ( of the sane countries that is) can blow up innocent people for no apparent reason and still be alive to have his p99sy looking face in the media dressed like he is going to the prom!!!!!! MY GOD people, this is still the United States of America, regardless of our bad present adminstration, and who would have thought someone could come in to our country and blow up and kill and mame our citizens and still be alive!!!! This little pos needs to die tomorrow!!!! Maybe a little bit of lead poison would be good!!!!!!!! YES, i am pissed!!!!!!

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dracura94 February 12 2014 at 12:21 PM

Did not read this article. The defense attorneys will as that the accused be offered mercy. It is his job to ask for mercy. It is the jurers responsibility to focus on this kid's lack of compassion or empathy. He should either suffer in solitary confinement of be executed - the more "merciful" choice.

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eaglekeeper73 February 12 2014 at 1:11 PM

Put him in the general population and save the tax payers millions.

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rwjonespe February 12 2014 at 12:15 PM

Actually, I'm suprised some of the great minds (or more accurately, think they are great in their own minds) are not calling for the prosecution of the officer(s) that killed his brother, and wanting his mommy and daddy awarded compensation.
I thought the Oklahoma bomber should have been turned loose - in Oklahoma during deer season. Maybe prison for this terrorist-wanta-be would be best as he would likely suffer a horrible death in general population.,

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