A prosecution witness is prepared to testify that accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev knew his older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev was involved in a 2011 Waltham triple murder, defense attorneys said Friday in court papers.
Lawyers for Tsarnaev, who is due to stand trial in January, want prosecutors to hand over evidence linking the elder Tsarnaev to the slayings, in which three men were found with their throats slit and surrounded by bits of marijuana.
In the filing, attorneys suggest such evidence would show that Tamerlan Tsarnaev played a “dominant role” in organizing the deadly 2013 terror attack, and may have coerced his younger brother with intimidation.
“Even the government has conceded that evidence concerning Tamerlan’s participation in Waltham murders might be relevant if Dzhokhar were aware of it," attorneys said in their filing.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a shootout with police three days after the bombing. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured hours later, and has pleaded not guilty to a slew of charges.
He faces execution if convicted.