Home / National News / NY, NJ bombing suspect wants federal trial moved to Vermont


(NEW YORK) — The man accused of planting bombs in New Jersey and in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood wants his federal trial moved to Vermont, according to documents filed Wednesday.

The attorneys for Ahmad Rahimi, who has been in custody since his arrest in September, said the venue must be changed from the Southern District of New York to Vermont or another district the court decides is appropriate because of a “reasonable likelihood” that “prejudicial pretrial publicity” in New York “will prevent a fair trial.”

The attorneys named Washington, D.C., and Vermont as alternatives to New York, where the defense said media coverage has been “blatantly prejudicial.”

The lawyers said, according to expert analysis, there has been twice as much media coverage of the case in New York than in Washington, D.C., and nearly five times as much coverage as in Vermont.

Rahimi is suspected of leaving explosive devices in New Jersey and in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood the weekend of Sept. 17. No one was injured in New Jersey, but the Manhattan blast went off on a busy street on a Saturday night and sent debris flying through the air and pedestrians running down the street, leaving at least 31 people injured. According to authorities, Rahimi then engaged cops in a shootout on Sept. 19 as he was captured in Linden, New Jersey.

Rahimi, who has pleaded not guilty to using weapons of mass destruction, is scheduled to stand trial around the one-year anniversary of the Manhattan blast. He is jailed in Manhattan.

Federal prosecutors have not yet responded to the defense’s motion.

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