Lawyers for Boston bomb suspect again seek trial out of state

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 01, 2014 8:10 PM

BOSTON (Reuters) - Lawyers for accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on Monday requested, for the second time, that his trial be moved out of state because of the risk that intense local media coverage will bias a jury against him.

The request comes one month before Tsarnaev is scheduled to face trial at a Boston courthouse a few miles from the location of the 2013 bombing, which killed three people and injured more than 260 in the worst attack since Sept. 11, 2001.

"The inescapable conclusion is that great local prejudice will prevent a fair trial by an impartial jury," Tsarnaev's lawyers wrote in a motion filed at U.S. District Court in Boston on Monday.

The motion cited heavy local press coverage of the case, including what it referred to as several recent leaks to reporters by law enforcement that could impact public opinion ahead of trial.

A federal judge in September rejected an earlier request by Tsarnaev's lawyers for a change of venue, saying it was doubtful that there was anywhere in the country where people are not familiar with the case.

Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to federal charges he and his brother Tamerlan placed bombs at the finish line of the world-renowned race on April 15, 2013. He could face the death penalty if convicted.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed days after the bombing following a shootout with police.

(Reporting by Richard Valdmanis; Editing by Eric Beech)