Marathon bombing suspects' sister pleads not guilty to drug charge

May 30, 2013 at 9:24 AM
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FAIRVIEW, N.J., May 30 (UPI) -- The sister of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects has pleaded not guilty to drug charges against her in a New Jersey courtroom, officials said.

On Tuesday, Bella Tsarnaev pleaded not guilty to a charge of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, her lawyer, Mario Blanch told CNN.

Tsarnaev, 24, was arrested in December after police were called to her apartment in Fairview, N.J., over a domestic disturbance and found marijuana in her home.

Tsarnaev has no prior criminal record, Blanch said, adding that he hopes his client will be accepted into the New Jersey's pretrial intervention program, a program for mostly first-time offenders that offers alternatives to the normal prosecution process.

Blanch said Tsarnaev was not involved in the Boston Marathon bombing.

Her brothers -- Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26 -- are accused of detonating two bombs near the finish line of the marathon, killing three people and injuring at least 264 others.

"I think she found out about her brothers the way the rest of the country did -- on the news," he said.

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