March 16th, 2010
08:21 PM ET

Lawyer: Terror suspect expected to change plea

A Chicago man charged in two international terror plots is expected to change his plea to guilty, according to his lawyer.

David Headley has been in custody since October and is charged with scouting targets for the 2008 Mumbai, India, terror attack and with a plot against a Danish newspaper that published cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed.

Headley's lawyer, John Theiss told CNN, "I anticipate there will be a guilty plea" when Headley appears at a Thursday court hearing. "I can confirm the government and Mr. Headley have been in discussions about resolving the case without going to trial."

Theiss said he could not disclose whether Headley will plead guilty to all the current charges against him or if the government will drop some charges. He cautioned the arrangement has not been finalized.

The charges in the indictment against Headley include conspiracy to bomb places of public use in India and conspiracy to murder and maim in India and Denmark. If convicted on the current charges, Headley faces the possibility of the death penalty.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Chicago would not comment on Headley's plan to change his plea or whether the possibility of the death penalty would be dropped. Previously the Justice Department had disclosed Headley was cooperating with investigators.

Headley was born in the United States in 1960 to an American mother and a Pakistani father and has lived in both countries. In the Mumbai attacks, approximately 164 people were killed including six Americans. The alleged plan against the Danish newspaper was never carried out.

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