Boston Bomb Suspect Gets Public Defender as Charges Loom

Federal Public Defender Miriam Conrad said her office will represent Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 19- year-old man taken into custody last night in the Boston Marathon bombing probe, once charges are filed in the case.

Federal prosecutors said yesterday that a criminal complaint in the attack, which killed three and injured more than 170, will be filed in “the coming days.”

Christina Sterling, a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, announced her office’s plans to begin the prosecution just hours after Tsarnaev was arrested following a manhunt through the suburbs of Boston. Police captured him at a house in Watertown, north of Boston, where he was hiding after an almost 24-hour chase that shut down much of the region.

Conrad’s office provides indigent criminal defense for individuals charged with federal crimes in the states of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

She has represented other defendants in terrorism-related cases, including Rezwan Ferdaus, a 27-year-old man who is serving a 17-year sentence for terrorism conspiracy.

Ferdaus was caught in a sting operation and admitted he planned to attack the U.S. Capitol with explosive-filled remote- controlled airplanes.

The Boston bombing suspect and his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, who was killed in a confrontation with police, were pursued as part of a sprawling four-day investigation following the April 15 attack. One police officer was killed and another injured in exchanges of gunfire during the pursuit by hundreds of law enforcement personnel.

Two Bombs

The brothers are suspected of planting two bombs that exploded about 10 seconds apart near the finish line of the marathon.

Ortiz said last night the investigation into the attack is “active and ongoing” and that authorities will evaluate a “tremendous amount of evidence.”

The suspect, who police said was seriously injured, is a patient at Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center in Boston, said Kelly Lawman, a spokeswoman.

To contact the reporter on this story: Janelle Lawrence in Boston at jmlawrence@me.com; David McLaughlin in Boston at dmclaughlin9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David E. Rovella at drovella@bloomberg.net

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