State arrest warrant issued for marathon suspect

  • Posted: Monday, October 7, 2013 8:55 p.m.
FILE - In this Tuesday, April 19, 2005 file photo officials stand near a wreckage of a car in Makhachkala, Russia, Tuesday, April 19, 2005. Near the end of its journey, the Olympic flame will pass through the North Caucasus, an ethnic patchwork of mountain peoples, most of whom are Muslims. Many Americans first heard of Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, following the Boston Marathon bombings in April when it became known that one of the suspects had spend much of last year in the city, where his family has roots. Dagestan is the center of a low-level Islamic insurgency that spread across the region following two separatist wars in neighboring Chechnya. Bombings and shootings, often targeting police, take place on a near daily basis. (AP Photo/Timur Abdulayev/ Newsteam, file)
FILE - In this Tuesday, April 19, 2005 file photo officials stand near a wreckage of a car in Makhachkala, Russia, Tuesday, April 19, 2005. Near the end of its journey, the Olympic flame will pass through the North Caucasus, an ethnic patchwork of mountain peoples, most of whom are Muslims. Many Americans first heard of Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, following the Boston Marathon bombings in April when it became known that one of the suspects had spend much of last year in the city, where his family has roots. Dagestan is the center of a low-level Islamic insurgency that spread across the region following two separatist wars in neighboring Chechnya. Bombings and shootings, often targeting police, take place on a near daily basis. (AP Photo/Timur Abdulayev/ Newsteam, file)

WOBURN, Mass. — A Massachusetts court issued an arrest warrant Monday for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as prosecutors sought to preserve their right to try him on state charges in the killing of a police officer for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Tsarnaev, 20, remains in custody after pleading not guilty to 30 federal charges stemming from the April 15 explosions, which killed three people and injured more than 260.

State prosecutors sought a default warrant – a type of arrest warrant – because U.S. marshals have said they won’t bring Tsarnaev to state court until his federal case concludes.

A magistrate issued the warrant the day Tsarnaev was scheduled to be arraigned on state charges. The step was largely procedural to preserve the state’s right to try him in the death of MIT officer Sean Collier and charges stemming from a shootout with Watertown police as he allegedly tried to escape.

Federal prosecutors said Tsarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, built two pressure cooker bombs and placed them near the finish line of the marathon. Tamerlan Tsarnaev died following the shootout with police four days after the bombings.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev faces 30 federal charges, including using a weapon of mass destruction and 16 other charges that carry the possibility of the death penalty.

Collier was shot and killed hours after the FBI released photos and video of the Tsarnaev brothers as suspects in the bombing.

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