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Trial of accused Boston Marathon bomber starting

Last Updated Jan 5, 2015 10:57 AM EST

Accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev arrived in a federal courthouse in Boston on Monday as jury selection in his trial gets underway. Tsarnaev faces charges from the terror attack that killed three and injured 260 more people nearly two years ago, reports CBS News correspondent Don Dahler.

Potential jurors got a good look at Tsarnaev when he sat down at a table in the front of the jury assembly room on Monday, flanked by his attorneys.

He was wearing a dark sweater and khaki trousers, and he occasionally looked up at the potential jury pool. The Associated Press reports he also picked at his shaggy beard.

An estimated 1,200 will be called to federal court to be considered for the jury. The Associated Press reports 200 have already been given initial instructions.

In the end, 12 jurors and six alternates will be selected. The trial is expected to get underway on January 26.

Due in part to the extensive media coverage of the bombing, jury selection is expected to take several weeks.

Tsarnaev faces dozens of charges ranging from four counts of murder to using a weapon of mass destruction. The evidence against him includes eyewitnesses and surveillance video that allegedly put him and his brother at the scene, forensic evidence, as well as statements that prosecutors say implicate him.

The defense has implied in court documents and motions it plans to show Tsarnaev was under the psychological control of his older brother, Tamerlan.

"What this defense wants to show is whether or not this was a young man who was influenced and under the influence of his older brother who was the master mind," CBS News legal analyst Rikki Klieman said.

Lead defense attorney Judy Clarke will also look to spare Tsarnaev's life. She has defended high-profile clients in death penalty cases in the past like Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, Olympic bomber Eric Rudolph and Jared Loughner, the man who killed six people and wounded former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. All were found guilty, but all were kept off death row.

"The defense team is looking for one thing only here and that is to save his life," Klieman said. "It's not a question of whether he will be proven guilty or found not guilt -- they are looking to avoid the death penalty."

Under orders from Attorney General Eric Holder, the 21-year-old has been held in total isolation in a medical prison facility north of Boston. He has limited access to news and mail, is fed through a slit in his door, and his weekly visits by family members are monitored by the FBI.

The defense has argued those restrictions have prevented them from mounting a fair defense because the family members couldn't speak freely. They have also petitioned numerous times for a change in venue on the grounds that the courthouse is mere blocks away from the scene of the bombings.

Judge George O'Toole denied those requests.