Court orders prison to hand over files in Boston bomb case

May 21, 2013 02:53
1 minute read.

BOSTON - A federal judge approved a request by accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's lawyers that his jailers hand over their files on him, including suicide watch logs and psychological data, according to court documents released on Monday.

The defense has said it wants to track 19-year-old Tsarnaev's injuries and mental state while he is held in federal prison to provide evidence of "the voluntariness of his statements" while under interrogation.

Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler of US District Court for Massachusetts said the prison's documents on Dzhokhar also had to be shared with US prosecutors, denying the defense team's call for them to be kept from the state.

Tsarnaev was found hiding in a trailered boat in Watertown, Massachusetts, four days after the April 15 blasts, which killed three people and injured 264 others at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

He was shot in the throat before his capture and is being held in a prison hospital west of Boston. He has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death and could face the death penalty if convicted.

Bowler on Friday had denied a separate request by Dzhokar's attorneys to take photographs of their imprisoned client without sharing them with prosecutors. She decided instead that prison staff could take the pictures in the presence of the defense counsel and that prosecutors would then have access to the photographs.

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