Feb 12, 2014 11:28 AM
BOSTON - A judge has set a November trial date for Boston Marathon bombingsuspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Judge George O'Toole Jr. said Wednesday in U.S. District Court that he has set the trial for Nov. 3.
Several of the 260 people injured in the terrorist attack are in the courtroom for the hearing. Tsarnaev is not.
His lawyers had asked for a trial date no earlier than September 2015. Prosecutors want the trial this autumn.
Prosecutors allege that Tsarnaev, then 19, and his 26-year-old brother, ethnic Chechens from Russia who had lived in the Boston area for about a decade, built and planted two pressure cooker bombs near the finish line of the marathon in April to retaliate against the U.S. for its military action in Muslim countries. The brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, died in a shootout with police during a getaway attempt days after the bombing.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was wounded but escaped on foot and was later found hiding in a boat parked in a yard in a Boston suburb. Authorities have said he wrote about his motivation for the bombing on the inside of the boat.
"The US Government is killing our innocent civilians," ''I can't stand to see such evil go unpunished," and "We Muslims are one body, you hurt one you hurt us all," he allegedly wrote.
The bombings stunned the nation during one of Boston's most celebrated events as runners crossed the finish line and friends, families and spectators were gathered to cheer them on.
Prosecutors announced last month they will seek the death penalty against Russian-born Tsarnaev, who has pleaded not guilty to 30 federal counts.
Killed in the bombings were: Martin Richard, 8, of Boston; Krystle Campbell, 29, of Medford; and Lu Lingzi, 23, a Boston University graduate student from Shenyang, China. At least 16 others lost limbs.
Tsarnaev also is charged in the slaying of an MIT police officer and the carjacking of a motorist during the brothers' getaway attempt.
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