MOSCOW, June 26 (RAPSI) – The attorneys for Azamat Tazhayakov, a friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, have asked a judge to select a jury carefully, the Associated Press reported on Thursday.
According to the AP, the defense attorneys insist that potential jurors be questioned on their attitudes about Muslims and if they know anyone who was killed or wounded in the bombings. The defense attorneys are seeking the least biased jury they can find.
Azamat Tazhayakov, 20, is charged with obstructing the investigation of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. According to the AP, prosecutors offered him reduced charges in a plea bargain but he declined the deal on Monday when in court for the final hearing before his June 30 trial.
On the afternoon of April 15, 2013, two explosions occurred near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and wounding more than 260.
Tsarnaev was arrested following a dramatic manhunt during which his brother and co-suspect Tamerlan was killed, as was MIT Police Officer Sean Collier. Tsarnaev was charged on April 21 with the use of a weapon of mass destruction and malicious destruction of property resulting in death.
US prosecutors filed a notice of intent to pursue the death penalty against Tsarnaev on January 30, 2014. Tsarnaev’s trial is to begin on November 3.
Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to 30 federal charges, 17 of which carry a death penalty.
The other defendants in the Boston Marathon bombing case, apart from Tsarnaev, are his three friends: Kazakhstan nationals Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev and US citizen Robel Phillipos.