Lawyers: Alleged NYC terrorist from Paterson may plead guilty

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EDISON -

The alleged New York City terrorist from Paterson may accept a guilty plea if the government drops its bid for the death penalty, his lawyers say.

Authorities say Sayfullo Saipov used a truck to kill eight people along a Manhattan bike path on Halloween last year. In November, Saipov pleaded not guilty.

Public defenders are suggesting life in prison without the possibility of parole. They argue that by taking the death penalty off the table, it would save victims and their families pain and grief of going through years of appeals.

The U.S. Attorney's office has not decided if it will recommend the death penalty. It is a long process that ultimately ends with Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

President Donald Trump has stated he wants the Justice Department to seek the death penalty.

Lawyers are now asking the judge to give them more time to go through evidence. The most recent discovery includes nearly 1,000 audio files and 1,800 video files in foreign languages.

Prosecutors want a firm trial date in April 2019, so foreign witnesses can arrange to be there. They say it won't interfere with summer plans for potential jurors.

Defenders say they won't be ready for trial until September 2019.

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