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Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect's Trial Starts Monday

  • VOA News

FILE - Demonstrators asserting that evidence in the Boston Marathon bombing was fabricated stand outside the federal courthouse ahead of a pre-trial conference for suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in Boston, Dec. 18, 2014.

FILE - Demonstrators asserting that evidence in the Boston Marathon bombing was fabricated stand outside the federal courthouse ahead of a pre-trial conference for suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in Boston, Dec. 18, 2014.

A U.S. federal judge has ruled the trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will begin Monday, rejecting defense requests for a change of venue and a delay in the trial start date until September.

Judge George O'Toole on Wednesday ruled against the defense and said explanations would be forthcoming. The judge had already delayed the trial once from an initial start date of November 3.

The defense said that the case was moving more quickly than 99 of the last 119 federal capital cases since 2004 and that it needed more time to prepare, given the large volume of documents to review. The defense team also argued that the intense publicity surrounding the case would prevent Tsarnaev from getting a fair trial.

Tsarnaev faces 30 charges and the possibility of the death penalty if convicted. He has pleaded not guilty.

Tsarnaev, 21, will be tried on charges of killing three people and injuring more than 260 with two homemade bombs at the race’s crowded finish line on April 15, 2013.

Charges against him include fatally shooting a university police officer three days after the bombing, as he and his brother, Tamerlan, tried to flee the area after they were identified as suspects. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a shootout with police.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will first be tried on the charges against him. If convicted on any capital charges, a second proceeding would be held to determine whether he should receive the death penalty.

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