NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The terror suspect accused of driving a rented truck down the West Side bike path and leaving eight people dead was back in court Tuesday.
As WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported, it was the first time Sayfullo Saipov appeared in court since his attorneys sent a letter to U.S. District Judge Vernon Broderick, saying he would be willing to plead guilty to the Halloween truck attack if Attorney General Jeff Sessions agrees not to seek the death penalty.
Saipov’s attorneys argue it would be the quickest way for the victims’ families to gain closure. Sessions has until Sept. 1 to make a decision.
At the pretrial hearing Tuesday, Saipov’s attorneys said jury selection alone could take a month or more. Both sides said testimony would take at least six weeks.
On Oct. 31, Saipov allegedly rented a Home Depot truck in Passaic, New Jersey, drove to Manhattan, and left a trail of death and injury along the Hudson River bicycle path.
Saipov was shot by a police officer after his truck hit a school bus.
Investigators said Saipov wrote two notes pledging his loyalty to ISIS.
Authorities said Saipov waived his Miranda rights while in custody at the hospital and admitted to carrying out the attack after being inspired by ISIS videos that he had watched on his phone. He allegedly planned the attack for Halloween in hopes of hitting more people, and intended to continue the attack on the Brooklyn bridge.
Saipov was indicted in November on eight counts of murder, twelve counts of attempted murder, and supporting a terror group. He went on initially to plead not guilty at arraignment.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)