December 15, 2014 / 5:38 PM / 4 years ago

Boston Marathon bomber suspect to appear in court this week

Suspects wanted for questioning in relation to the Boston Marathon bombing April 15, later identified as Dzokhar (L) and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, are seen in handout photo released through the FBI website, April 18, 2013. REUTERS/FBI/Handout

BOSTON (Reuters) - Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is due to appear in court in Boston this week for the first time in more than a year, at a final hearing before his trial begins next month, one of his attorneys said on Monday.

Tsarnaev, 21, is charged with killing three people and injuring more than 260 with two homemade pressure-cooker bombs left at the race’s crowded finish line on April 15, 2013. Three days later as Tsarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan, attempted to flee the city, federal prosecutors contend that they shot and killed a university police officer.

Tamerlan, 26, died later that night after a gunbattle with police and Dzhokhar was arrested on April 19, 2013, when officers found him hiding in a dry-docked boat in a Watertown, Massachusetts, backyard.

He faces the death penalty if convicted of the largest mass-casualty attack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001.

Tsarnaev has not been seen in public since July 2013, when he appeared in U.S. District Court in Boston to plead not guilty to 30 criminal counts linked to the attack. At the time, his left arm was in a cast and his face was swollen, signs of injuries sustained during his arrest.

While Tsarnaev has not attended status conferences since that day, it is standard procedure for defendants to attend final pretrial conferences, one of his attorneys, Miriam Conrad, said.

Three people died in the bombing attack: 29-year-old restaurant manager Krystle Campbell, graduate student Lingzi Lu, 23; and 8-year-old Martin Richard. MIT police officer Sean Collier, 27, was killed three days later.

Jury selection in Tsarnaev’s trial is due to begin Jan. 5. The trial itself is expected to run two to three months.

Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Bill Trott

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