Trial date set for Boston bomber suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

A judge has set the trial date for 3 November this year

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The Independent US

A trial date has been set for Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Judge George O'Toole Jr. announced in a US District Court today that the trial will commence on 3 November.

Lawyers for Tsarnaev had requested a trial date no earlier than September 2015, but prosecutors asked for the trial this autumn.

They allege that the 20-year-old Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan, planted two homemade pressure cooker bombs near the Boston marathon's finish line last April. Tamerlan Tsarnaev died following a shootout with police.

Along with setting off the pressure-cooker bomb that killed three people near the marathon finish line in downtown Boston, the brothers are also accused of murdering MIT police officer Sean Collier by shooting him in the head on the night of 18 April.

The blast also left more than 260 injured.

Prosecutors last month confirmed they will seek the death penalty against Russian-born Tsarnaev, who has pleaded not guilty to 30 federal counts.

Defense attorney Judy Clarke accused federal prosecutors of being "sluggish" in their responses requests to turn over evidence and there are a "tremendous amount of logistical hurdles" for the defense to be ready for trial in November. 

In particular, Clarke cited 2,000 pieces of physical evidence that are still in the FBI's lab near Washington, DC that the defense has not yet been granted access to examine.

Additional reporting by Associated Press