BOSTON (Reuters) - At least 1,000 potential jurors will be screened for the trial of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a federal judge said on Monday, after attorneys for both sides asked for a wide-ranging jury search.
The process of picking the 12 jurors and six alternates who will hear the case against Tsarnaev is meant to begin on Nov. 3 and last about a week, according to attorneys for both sides who last month requested a pool of 2,000 potential jurors.
District Judge George O‘Toole also said on Monday that federal prosecutors and attorneys for Tsarnaev will next meet for a status conference on Nov. 12, to continue discussing guidelines for his trial due to start in January.
Prosecutors say Tsarnaev, 21, killed three people and injured more than 260 by detonating two homemade pressure-cooker bombs at the crowded finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013.
They also say he and his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, killed a university police officer three days later as they attempted to flee the city. Tamerlan died later that night after a gunfight with police.
The surviving Tsarnaev brother faces the possibility of execution if he is convicted.
On Monday, about 10 Tsarnaev supporters gathered outside the courthouse, holding signs and talking with reporters.
Among them was Elena Teyer, mother-in-law of Ibragim Todashev, an acquaintance of Tamerlan Tsarnaev who was killed in May 2013 while voluntarily sitting for an interview in his Orlando home with an agent from the FBI and a Massachusetts state police officer.
“We want justice being served for everyone because the way it looks now, it looks ugly, what they’re trying to do,” said Teyer, who said she believes Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is innocent and the FBI has been lying about the investigation.
Judge O‘Toole last week denied motions to dismiss a grand jury’s indictment of Tsarnaev because of purported violations of jury selection procedures in Massachusetts and to throw out evidence obtained through physical and electronic searches last year. Last month, the judge also denied a bid by Tsarnaev to move his trial out of Boston, but agreed to delay the start of the trial by two months to January, pushing it back until after the U.S. holiday season.
Editing by Richard Valdmanis and Eric Walsh