BOSTON, Nov. 15 (UPI) — Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, convicted Boston Marathon bomber, will receive a hearing scheduled for December over his motion to set a new trial as part of his appeals process.
Tsarnaev, 22, who was sentenced to death in May, appealed his guilty verdict in August, arguing that jurors were improperly influenced by the intense media coverage surrounding the case and that Boston was the wrong location to hold the trial.
The hearing on Tsarnaev’s motion for a new case is set for Dec. 1 at 10 a.m. local time in Boston’s U.S. District Court. It is unclear if Tsarnaev will attend the hearing.
“Put simply, prejudicial media coverage, events and environment saturated greater Boston, including the social networks of actual jurors, and made it an improper venue for the trial of this case,” Tsarnaev’s lawyers wrote in the 39-page appeal.
Nearly 300 people were hurt on April 15, 2013 when two pressure cooker bombs detonated near the finish line at the Boston Marathon. Three spectators, Krystle Campbell, 29, Lu Lingzi, 23, and Martin Richard, 8, were killed. Two police officers also died from injuries received during the massive manhunt that followed.
Tsarnaev’s case marks the first time the federal government has achieved a death penalty sentence since the Sept. 11 attacks in a terrorism case. His older brother and co-conspirator Tamerlan, 26, was shot dead while on the run from police after the bombing.
“A new trial in a different venue is required due to continuous and unrelenting publicity combined with pervasive connections between jurors and the events surrounding the Boston Marathon bombing that preclude impartial adjudication in both appearance and fact,” Tsarnaev’s lawyers wrote.
Tsarnaev is held in the ADX supermax prison in Florence, Colo., known as “the Alcatraz of the Rockies.”