The Federal Public Defender in Boston confirmed Bill Fick from that office was in the hospital for the first appearance and confirms he will represent the defendant, at least for now.
The initial appearance did not constitute an arraignment.
Tsaranev has the option throughout the process to not speak with law enforcement.
A magistrate will preside over the next two or three appearances, but the case will eventually be referred to a federal district judge.
Federal grand juries are sitting at all times in Boston, so Tsaranev would face formal charges from an indictment. Such a preliminary hearing would be presided over by a federal judge.
A number of pre-trial negotiations would then start, including possible negotiations for a plea deal. If no deal can be reached, a criminal trial would commence.
That raises another potential issue: Whether to hold a trial outside of Boston because of the enormous publicity and possible community anger at the crimes.
Possible trial venues could be in the western part of the state, in Worcester or Springfield, or possibly out-of-state in neighboring Rhode Island or New Hampshire.