Trial date set for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

10:49 AM, Feb 12, 2014   |    comments
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BOSTON (USA TODAY) -- Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will stand trial beginning Nov. 3.

U.S. District judge George A. O'Toole set the trial date a a Wednesday hearing here. The trial is expected to last about three months. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Tsarnaev, 20.

The April 15 bombing killed three people and wounded over 260. Among the 30 federal charges against Tsarnaev, more than half carry a death penalty. Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty.

Tsarnaev and his 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan, allegedly planted two pressure cooker bombs at the finish line of the marathon, where thousands of runners and bystanders had massed.

A few hours after their photos were released by the FBI, the brothers allegedly shot Sean Collier, a campus cop with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The pair then allegedly hijacked an SUV, forcing a hostage to withdraw $800 from an ATM machine.

Tamerlan died in an April 18 shootout with police. Dzhokhar, wounded in the shootout, was captured a few hours later, hiding in a boat parked in the backyard of a Watertown home.

A decision on the venue for the trial is expected at a June 18 status conference. Before then, defense could argue that Tsarnaev cannot receive a fair and impartial trial in Boston.

Tsarnaev attorney Judith Clarke had sought a trial delay, saying prosecutors have not provided access to evidence.

O'Toole, however, was unmoved.

"That's the calendar," he said. "I think it is a realistic one and a fair one."

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