Monday January 5th, 2015

The trial for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will begin on Jan. 26 and is expected to last for three to four months, Denise Lavoie of the Associated Press reports.

Tsarnaev, now 21, is accused of setting off a bomb near the finish line of the Boston Marathon that killed three people and injured more than 260 on April 15, 2013. He faces 30 charges in connection to the bombing and also allegedly killing MIT police officer Sean Collier while trying to leave the region.

Tsarnaev is accused of carrying out the attack with his brother Tamerlan, who was killed during a shootout with police. Tsarnaev was arrested while hiding in a boat following a nearly 24-hour manhunt.

Jury selection for the trial began on Monday and will continue through Thursday as the court seeks 12 jurors and six alternates. Around 1,200 people will be screened as potential jurors, which is more than a normal trial because of the amount of publicity the case has received.

U.S. District Judge George O'Toole Jr. will preside over the case. If Tsarnaev is found guilty, the jury will also decide if his punishment will be life in prison or the death penalty.

Lavoie described Tsarnaev's appearance:

Tsarnaev, flanked by his attorneys, sat at a table at the front of the jury assembly room. Wearing a dark sweater and khaki pants, he looked down much of the time but occasionally glanced at the potential jurors and the judge. He also picked at his shaggy beard.

- Paul Palladino

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