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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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waloisa February 12 2014 at 9:27 AM

This guy is directly responsible for the Murder of innocent people, not to mention the ones who have life changing injurys. He Is Not A Hero!

Flag Reply +5 rate up
wyklej February 12 2014 at 9:47 AM

HE IS GUILTY AND THERE IS NO OTHER CHOICE BUT DEATH FOR THE CRIMES HE HAS COMMITED, AND THERE IS ANY OTHER VERDIC, THEN THOSE PEOPLE ARE AS GUILTY AS HE IS PERIOD..QUIT WASTING TAX PAYERS MONEY ON THIS BULL ****....!

Flag Reply +2 rate up
insharpc February 12 2014 at 11:54 AM

he don't have the right for anything he don't have the right to even breath .

Flag Reply +4 rate up
Laura February 12 2014 at 9:48 AM

More time to prepare means more money the taxpayers have to pay to these attornys

Flag Reply +2 rate up
welcom joyce February 12 2014 at 9:48 AM

aol the gown and rose has to go....what do you want people to feel sorry for this muderer

Flag Reply +2 rate up
hdgoose February 12 2014 at 9:49 AM

How could he plead not guilty? This guy is a terrorist and was apprehended. If you do not stand behind our flag; then please get the hell out of this country. I served my country and fought for that flag; and people that do things like he did are a slap in the face to all veterans. Go to another country and fight for whatever flag you believe in; just go do it over there.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
ginny0426 February 12 2014 at 11:54 AM

Spawn of the devil...

Flag Reply +3 rate up
lodgebrook February 12 2014 at 11:51 AM

What a shame that AOL chooses to use the
Rolling Stones pix that moves this terrorist
into Rock Star like status!
My long standing feelings about these animals
is to refeer to them by NUMBER.
Love to understand just why the LameStream
media doesn't emphasize the fact that this
'brother' drove over and killed his older brother?!

Flag Reply +2 rate up
thomasecw February 12 2014 at 10:03 AM

So much for one's "right to a speedy trial"! 2015 for this case? His attorneys are really milking this.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
2 replies
tdiplaci thomasecw February 12 2014 at 10:12 AM

We the taxpayers are footing the bill so they will drag this on for as many hours as they can. The proof that these scumbags did the deed are ironclad and there is no need to drag it out. It is a shame that the cops did not snuff this loser out and save us all a lot of money and not have had to watch his moron mother smacking her hands on the podium while she screamed he was being set up.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
big dog thomasecw February 12 2014 at 10:20 AM

and WE the US tax payers will pay for his lawyers.
feed him bacon then hang him.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
Ed. February 12 2014 at 11:47 AM

IN ANOTHER COUNTRY HE WOULD HVE BEEN SHOT IMMEDIATELY.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
aol~~ 1209600

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