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Jury Selection Begins for Boston Marathon Bombing Trial

  • VOA News

Jury selection for the trial of suspected Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokar Tsarnaev is underway, with the 21-year-old accused killer present.

The process to select 12 jurors and six alternates started early in the day, as Tsarnaev sat with his lawyers in the jury assembly room of the Boston, Massachusetts, courthouse.

Presiding judge George O'Toole explained to potential jurors they may be aware of the bombings, but they will have to decide the case based strictly on evidence presented in court.

Tsarnaev is charged with 30 offenses in the deaths of three people and injuries to 260 others after two homemade bombs exploded at the marathon finish line on April 15, 2013.

He faces the death penalty if convicted. He has pleaded not guilty to all counts.

The trial is to begin January 26 and is is expected to last three to four months.

Tsarnaev, a naturalized U.S. citizen with roots is Russia's North Caucasus, is also charged with 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.

Some information for this report came from AP and Reuters.