Lawyers for accused Boston Marathon bomber want more time for venue motion

Alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzokhar Tsarnaev hopes to lessen restrictions he faces in prison. (Credit: FBI/Reuters)
Alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzokhar Tsarnaev hopes to lessen restrictions he faces in prison. (Credit: FBI/Reuters)

Attorneys for the accused Boston Marathon bomber asked a judge on Monday to extend past February 28 the deadline to try to move his trial outside of Boston, saying they cannot make such a request before they know if he is facing the death penalty.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s attorneys argued in papers filed in federal court that their decision on whether to seek a change of venue will depend in part on whether the Justice Department seeks to have Tsarnaev, 20, executed if he is convicted of charges arising from the April 15 bombing.

“The attorney general is expected to announce his penalty decision by the end of January 2014,” defense attorneys argued. “The media attention to that decision risks skewing public perception. As a result, data collected now, in advance of the attorney general’s decision, will likely be of little use in the wake of the inevitable media saturation reporting of that decision.”

U.S. laws generally require a person accused of crimes to face trial in the district where the crimes were committed, though defense attorneys may seek to have the proceedings moved to a district where potential jurors may have been less influenced by pretrial publicity.

The trial of Timothy McVeigh, for instance, who was convicted of the 1995 bombing of a federal office building in Oklahoma City, was moved to Denver.

Tsarnaev is accused of planting two homemade pressure-cooker bombs at the crowded finish line of the marathon, killing three people and injuring more than 260.

Three days later, as he and his older brother, Tamerlan, planned to flee Boston, prosecutors say, the pair killed a university police officer in an unsuccessful effort to steal his gun.

Tamerlan, 26, died in a gunfight with police later that night in Watertown, Massachusetts. Dzhokhar escaped the gun battle, prompting a day-long lockdown of much of the Boston area that ended when the wounded suspect was found hiding in a drydocked boat.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to all charges linked to the worst mass-casualty attack on U.S. soil since 9/11.

Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

No criminal charges in fatal gun range shooting…

County law enforcement officials in Arizona said on Thursday no criminal charges are pending after a probe into a gun range incident in which a 9-year-old girl fatally shot her…

National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…