Dzhokar Tsarnaev will be allowed unmonitored family visits, can see autopsy photos of Boston bombing victims

By Daniel S Levine,

Federal prosecutors and defense attorneys for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev were in a Boston court today for the latest hearing in the case against the 20-year-old. A judge did not side with the prosecution, which had argued that family visits for Tsarnaev should be monitored by the FBI. Tsarnaev will also be allowed to see autopsy photos of the victims of the bombing.

US District Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. ruled today that Tsarnaev will be allowed unmonitored visits from his family, reports The Boston Globe. He didn’t agree that an FBI agent was needed to keep an eye on the meetings for security reasons. He did give the prosecution the option of assigning an FBI agent who isn’t currently on the case to attend the meetings.

Tsarnaev’s attorneys argued that unmonitored meetings were needed so they could put together the family’s story for its case. The defense has said that the family’s story is vital to its case, as it plans to show that Tsarnaev was influenced by his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26. Tamerlan was shot and killed by police during a shootout days after the bombing.

O’Toole also said that Tsarnaev can see the autopsy photos of the victims, reports USA Today. Prosecutors had argued against this, saying that it violated the victims’ privacy.

O’Toole will also have to consider a statement from Ibragim Todashev that may have implicated Tamerlan in the 2011 killing of three men. Todashev was interrogated by officials in May 2013 in Florida, but was killed by an agent after allegedly attacking.

Today’s hearing was the first in the case since February. It was only 90 minutes and Tsarnaev did not attend. The next hearing is set for June 18 and the trial is scheduled for November.

Tuesday marked the one-year anniversary of the bombings, which left three people dead and over 260 injured.

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