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US Judge Rejects Bid to Delay Trial of Boston Marathon Suspect

  • VOA News

In this courtroom sketch, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, second from right, is depicted with his lawyers, left, beside U.S. District Judge George O'Toole Jr., right, as O'Toole addresses a pool of potential jurors in a jury assembly room at the federal courthouse in Boston, Jan. 5, 2015.

In this courtroom sketch, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, second from right, is depicted with his lawyers, left, beside U.S. District Judge George O'Toole Jr., right, as O'Toole addresses a pool of potential jurors in a jury assembly room at the federal courthouse in Boston, Jan. 5, 2015.

A U.S. judge has rejected a bid by suspected Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokar Tsarnaev to suspend jury selection for his trial due to last week's terrorist attacks in Paris.

The judge on Wednesday denied a motion filed by Tsarnaev's lawyers. He said the jury questionnaires he has reviewed so far have confirmed his judgement that "a fair and impartial jury can and will be chosen."

Tsarnaev's lawyers had requested the delay on Tuesday, arguing the Paris attacks would trigger memories of the Boston Marathon bombings and make it harder to select an impartial jury.

The process to select 12 jurors and six alternates for the trial of the 21-year-old Tsarnaev began last week.

He 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.

Testimony is to begin January 26 and 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.

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