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Tsarnaev lawyers granted more time for evidence challenges

A federal judge granted a request Wednesday from defense attorneys for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to have more time to prepare challenges to evidence they expect to be brought against him.

US District Court Judge George A. O’Toole Jr., who is presiding over the Tsarnaev case, granted the extension from April 23 to May 7.

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In a motion filed Tuesday in US District Court in Boston, the defense lawyers said they need more time to decide what evidence they will seek to suppress, or prevent prosecutors from presenting, at the trial, where Tsarnaev faces the possibility of the death penalty.

“The motions to suppress evidence raise complex issues, which the parties are discussing in an attempt to narrow the issues to be addressed by the court,’’ the lawyers wrote in the motion. “In addition, there were at least 35 search warrants executed in connection with this case, including federal and state search warrants.’’

Both the prosecution and the defense, the motion said, agreed to allow the time for filing of motions to suppress statements to be extended to April 23.

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Both sides also agreed that the time for filing of motions to suppress evidence collected during searches should be extended to May 7.

Tsarnaev, 20, faces 30 federal counts in his alleged role in the April 15, 2013, bombings, which killed three people and injured more than 260. Many of the injured lost limbs in the attacks and were scarred by shrapnel.

Tsarnaev and his late brother, Tamerlan, are also accused of killing an MIT police officer.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to all charges and is being held without bail.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty; a jury will decide whether to impose that sentence, if Tsarnaev is convicted.

John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@
globe.com
. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.
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