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Defense says bombing suspect's family key to case

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DENISE LAVOIE | April 16, 2014 12:13 PM EST | AP


BOSTON (AP) — Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehv) have told a judge that understanding their client's family is key to their case.

Tsarnaev's lawyers shed some light on their defense strategy as they argued in court Wednesday that the government shouldn't be allowed to monitor prison visits with his two sisters.

Attorney David Bruck said understanding what happened is mainly "a story of this family and the relationships between people in it."

Authorities say Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan, placed two homemade bombs near the finish line of last year's marathon.

Tamerlan was killed in a shootout with police. The defense has suggested Dzhokhar was heavily influenced by Tamerlan.

Judge George O'Toole Jr. said he is inclined to ease the restrictions placed on Tsarnaev during his sisters' visits.