Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Has Another Arraignment to Look Forward To

The state received a warrant to try the alleged bomber for murdering an MIT officer after his federal case is finished.

tsarnaevAdding to his legal woes, Middlesex County prosecutors obtained an arrest warrant for accused Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev this morning. It’s a procedural step that means they can arraign him on charges that he murdered an MIT police officer in Cambridge when his federal trial is completed.

That’s right, after Tsarnaev stands trial in federal court for 30 counts stemming from the Marathon attack, carrying a potential death sentence, he could appear in another trial, this one in a Massachusetts court, for the alleged murder of MIT officer Sean Collier. He’d also face charges of assault with intent to murder for his confrontation with police in Watertown. The A.P. explains why the state received a warrant on the day Tsarnaev was actually scheduled to be arraigned:

State prosecutors sought a default warrant — a type of arrest warrant — because U.S. marshals have said they won’t bring Tsarnaev to state court until his federal case concludes.

A magistrate issued the warrant the day Tsarnaev was scheduled to be arraigned on state charges. The step was largely procedural to preserve the state’s right to try him in the death of MIT officer Sean Collier and charges stemming from a shootout with Watertown police as he allegedly tried to escape.

Neither Tsarnaev nor his lawyer were in court this morning, and Tsarnaev likely won’t appear there until his federal trial is completed. But now he knows what he’ll be up to when this federal business is finished. He might not like his prison conditions, but he’s going to be enduring them awhile yet.