Attorneys for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a judge for the fourth time to stop jury selection and move the trial somewhere else. He and his brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, are suspected of planting the bombs that killed three during the marathon on April 15, 2013. File Photo by UPI. | License Photo
BOSTON, March 3 (UPI) -- With less than 24 hours before the trial for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is scheduled to begin, attorneys asked a federal judge for the fourth time to stop jury selection and move the trial somewhere else.
The request came just two days after a federal appeals court rejected the third defense request to move the trial. Defense attorneys argue Tsarnaev, 21, can't get a fair trial in the Eastern Massachusetts. Jury selections expected to be completed Tuesday, with opening arguments to begin Wednesday in the four-month trial.
Tsarnaev is accused with his brother, Tamerlan, of planting two bombs near the Boston Marathon finish line in 2013, killing three and injuring 260. Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to 30 counts against him. Seventeen of them carry the death penalty. Tsarnaev's brother was killed in a shootout with police days after the bombing.
The latest motion to move the trial focuses on the 75 potential jurors who have been provisionally qualified, culled from a pool of 1,373. Defense attorneys said more than half have admitted to having personal ties to the case. Attorneys said 23 said they already formed an opinion that Tsarnaev is guilty. Prosecutors said many of the connections were trivial.
On Monday, Tsarnaev's attorney's also argued jurors should be allowed to see the entire bullet-ridden boat where he hid for hours and scrawled a note on the wall of the vessel before being captured by police.
"The evidence here is the boat. It's movable and it's very powerful. The jury should be able to see it. It's really quite striking," Tsaraev's defense attorney William Fick said. "The jury should be allowed to see that in its entirety."
Prosecutors argued a photo of the bloody section of the boat should be enough for jurors, but they may be willing to cut out a portion of the boat. The judge did not rule on the motion.