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Jury Chosen in Boston Marathon Bombing Trial

Emotions High in Boston Ahead of Bombing Trial
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Watch video report from VOA's Zlatica Hoke.

After two months of jury selection, a panel of 12 jurors and six alternates was seated Tuesday for the federal death penalty trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

The panel consists of eight men and 10 women. Jurors include a self-employed house painter, an air traffic controller, an executive assistant at a law firm and a former emergency room nurse.

FILE - Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, shown in an undated photo, faces 30 counts in his federal death penalty trial.
FILE - Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, shown in an undated photo, faces 30 counts in his federal death penalty trial.

Opening statements in the case are scheduled for Wednesday.

Tsarnaev, 21, has pleaded not guilty to 30 counts against him stemming from the explosion of two bombs at the marathon finish line in April 2013.

The bombs killed three people and injured more than 260 others, including at least 16 who lost limbs. The counts include the killing of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer days after the bombings. Seventeen of the 30 counts carry the death penalty.

Authorities say Tsarnaev, then 19, and his older brother, Tamerlan, 26, carried out the bombings to retaliate against the United States for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The brothers are ethnic Chechens who had lived in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan and the volatile Dagestan region of Russia. They came to the U.S. with their parents and two sisters about a decade before the bombings.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev died following a shootout with police several days after the bombings.

Defense lawyers say they plan to depict Tamerlan Tsarnaev as the mastermind of the attack and a powerful force in his younger brother's life.

On Monday, the defense team filed a motion, its sixth in the last two months, to move the trial out of Boston, saying that a fair and impartial jury could not be found there because of an overwhelming presumption that their client was guilty.

Some bombing survivors have said they plan to attend the trial; others say they have no desire to be there.

Prosecutors are expected to present graphic images of the carnage caused by the bombs, including a surveillance video that authorities say shows Tsarnaev placing a backpack just feet from 8-year-old Martin Richard and his family. The boy died in the explosion.