Attorneys for accused Boston Marathon bomber due in court
BOSTON, Sept 23 (Reuters) - Attorneys for accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and federal prosecutors are due in court on Monday for a conference ahead of the 20-year-old ethnic Chechen's upcoming trial on charges he killed four people in the April attack and its aftermath.
Tsarnaev faces the possibility of execution if convicted on charges that he and his now-dead brother Tamerlan planted a pair of homemade pressure-cooker bombs at the race's crowded finish line on April 15, killing three people and wounding 264 in one of the largest attacks on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001.
Three days after the bombing the Tsarnaev brothers are accused of killing MIT university police officer Sean Collier in an unsuccessful attempt to steal his gun.
Federal prosecutors, in a filing in U.S. District Court in Boston on Friday, said they plan to decide by Oct. 31 whether to seek the death penalty in the case.
Tsarnaev, who is being held at a federal prison west of Boston ahead of trial, is not expected to be in court on Monday. Tsarnaev in July pleaded not guilty to charges linked to the attacks.
The three people who died in the April 15 bombing were 29-year-old restaurant manager Krystle Campbell, graduate student Lingzi Lu, 23, and 8-year-old Martin Richard.
After killing Collier, the Tsarnaev brothers engaged police officers in Watertown, Massachusetts, in a gun battle that ended when Dzhokhar drove off in a stolen sport-utility vehicle, running over his brother and contributing to his death, according to court papers.
The surviving Tsarnaev's escape prompted a day-long lockdown of most of the Boston area that ended when police found him hiding in a boat that was parked in a backyard.