BOSTON (AP) — A judge granted a two-month trial delay on Wednesday for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, but denied a defense request to move his trial from Boston.
Judge George O’Toole ruled that the trial will begin Jan. 5 instead of Nov. 3, but said there’s no reason to assume in advance that a fair jury cannot be selected in Massachusetts.
Defense attorneys had asked to have the trial moved to Washington, D.C., citing extensive media coverage and evaluations of public sentiment by their experts. They also asked for a trial delay until at least September 2015, saying they have not had time to prepare for a November trial.
“Although media coverage in this case has been extensive, at this stage the defendant has failed to show that it has so inflamed and pervasively prejudiced the pool that a fair and impartial jury cannot be empaneled in this District,” O’Toole wrote.
He also wrote that a short delay is warranted because of the large amount of evidence, but said “An additional delay of ten months as requested by the defendant does not appear necessary.”
Tsarnaev, 21, has pleaded not guilty to 30 federal charges. He could face the death penalty if convicted.
Prosecutors say he and his now-deceased older brother placed two pressure cooker bombs that exploded near the marathon’s finish line. Three people were killed and more than 260 were injured. Tamerlan Tsarnaev died in a shootout with police several days later.
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