Accused bomber claims evidence disclosure is overdue

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 21, was sentenced to death for the Boston Marathon bombings >>

BOSTON (WPRI) – A motion filed by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s defense team states the government’s disclosure of a substantial amount of evidence is “long overdue”, and claims the accused Boston Marathon bomber was unarmed during a shootout with police in Watertown on the night he is accused of causing a shooting injury to a police officer.

“The failure to timely provide reports or to provide only redacted reports puts the defendant in an untenable position, given the short time to trial,” the motion filed last Friday states.

According to the document, the F B I and Massachusetts State police have requested records and other items from 95 organizations and agencies since the April 15 bombings that killed 3 and wounded 260. But according to Tsarnaev’s attorneys, the defense team has received evidence from “just 26 of the 95 entities.”

The motion states “such deliberate vagueness forces the defense to engage in a guessing game.”

The list of entities includes a half dozen fire works companies in five different states, as well as several web-sites and money wiring services. There is a reference in the motion to “more than 1200 items of evidence currently held by the FBI laboratory” and the Massachusetts State Police.

The defense is also seeking evidence tied to the Watertown crime scenes and the shooting of  M B T A Officer Richard Donohue four days after the bombing. Donohue was seriously injured in the shootout following the alleged murder of MIT Police Officer Sean Collier.

“Discovery provided thus far reveals that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was unarmed when attempting to escape,” according to the motion. “The discovery appears to confirm widespread media reports that Donohue was in fact injured by gunfire from a law enforcement officer.”

In the motion, the defense requests ballistics records for all the law enforcement weapons fired in the Watertown shootout.

The motion also requests evidence gathered from Tsarnaev’s computer, specifically what count one of the indictment called “extremist religious literature that advocated terrorist attacks and gave instructions for carrying them out.”

In conclusion the defense states that disclosure of all reports, examinations and tests are long overdue, with the motion asking the court to set a deadline of April 30th for the prosecution to disclose the items.

Send tips to Target 12 Investigator Walt Buteau at and follow him on Twitter @wbuteau.


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