NEW YORK — A man charged with using a rental truck to kill eight people on a New York City bike path would face a lengthy trial next year if the government seeks the death penalty.

At a pretrial hearing on Tuesday, lawyers for Uzbek immigrant Sayfullo Saipov (sy-foo-LOH’ sah-YEE’-pawf) told a federal judge that jury selection alone could take a month or more. Both sides say testimony would take at least six weeks.

Prosecutors want any trial to begin in April 2019 while the defense says it needs until September 2019 to prepare. The judge put off a decision to set a date.

Last week, the defense said Saipov would plead guilty to terrorism if he were spared the death penalty. Prosecutors said it was too soon to make a decision about whether to seek death.