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Jury selection near end as venue shift considered

Nearly 250 potential jurors have been interviewed so far.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev appears in federal court in Boston.Jane Collins

Opening statements in the Boston Marathon bombing trial could come as early as next week as the jury selection process nears completion, a federal court official said in a statement.

Accused bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 21, faces the death penalty if convicted in the 2013 terror attack, which killed three marathon spectators and injured 264 others. Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to the charges, and has appeared in court throughout the jury selection process.

US District Judge George O’Toole Jr. and attorneys for both sides will continue questioning potential jurors Monday. Nearly 250 have been interviewed so far.

O’Toole this week is also expected to hear motions related to evidence, the court said.

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Crippling snowstorms have repeatedly shut the federal courthouse over the past few weeks, slowing the trial. Opening statements were originally slated to begin at the end of January.

Tsarnaev’s lawyers have made several requests to move the trial outside the city, saying their client can’t get a fair hearing at the scene of the crime. The a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals heard arguments Thursday on the request for a change of venue.

 
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