A Massachusetts court on Monday issued a default arrest warrant for accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev so he can be arraigned on state charges in connection with the killing of an MIT police officer.
Tsarnaev, 20, is in federal custody and has pleaded not guilty to numerous charges, including using a weapon of mass destruction. He faces a potential death sentence if convicted. He is accused of helping plant two pressure-cooker bombs near the finish line of the marathon that killed three people and injured more than 260 others.
Monday’s action was a procedural step needed so that Tsarnaev will eventually appear in state court to face charges in connection with the flight and shootings that officials say were part of the aftermath of the bombings. Tsarnaev will likely not appear in state court until the federal case is resolved.
“It is the intention of the Middlesex District Attorney that the defendant stand trial for these charges in Middlesex County,” District Attorney Marian T. Ryan’s office said in a statement.
Tsarnaev is accused of acting with his brother, Tamerlan, 26, to plant the bombs. After the explosions, the brothers were identified by authorities based on video evidence from the scene.
On April 18, authorities said, the two shot and killed Officer Sean Collier in Cambridge, then fled again. Tamerlan was shot in a subsequent confrontation with police and run over by his fleeing brother. He was pronounced dead on April 19.