Judge Rules Against Delay Request by Tsarnaev Defense

Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, left, is depicted beside U.S. District Judge George O'Toole Jr., right, during jury selection on Jan. 5 in this courtroom sketch.
Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, left, is depicted beside U.S. District Judge George O'Toole Jr., right, during jury selection on Jan. 5 in this courtroom sketch. –Jane Flavell Collins/AP/File

US District Court Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. has denied the latest request by lawyers for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for a delay in the accused Boston Marathon bomber’s trial.

The Wednesday morning decision came a day after Tsarnaev’s lawyers requested a suspension of the jury selection process due to the recent terror attacks in France. Citing media comparisons between the Marathon bombings and the Charlie Hebdo massacre and resulting manhunt, the defense argued that potential jurors who were instructed to avoid media coverage of the Tsarnaev case could have been exposed to reports on the Boston bombings through coverage of the French terror attacks.

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However, Judge O’Toole said in the ruling that the juror questionnaires he has so far reviewed have confirmed his judgement that “a fair and impartial jury can and will be chosen.’’

Tsarnaev’s lawyers have previously tried to delay the case by moving it out of Boston, but that request was also denied.

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