Bombing suspect heads to 1st public court hearing
Today’s news from the Associated Press was selected by Media Writing student Hannah Leslie.
The courthouse is expected to be jammed for 19-year-old Tsarnaev’s appearance. A spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office said space is being reserved in the main courtroom for victims’ families, but she wouldn’t indicate how many planned to attend. Court officials have set aside an overflow courtroom to broadcast the hearing for the media.
Tsarnaev has yet to appear publicly since his April 19 arrest. His initial court appearance took place at a hospital, where he was recovering from injuries suffered in a shootout with police the day before in the Boston suburb of Watertown.
Authorities say he had escaped in a hijacked car after running over his brother and alleged co-conspirator, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who died following the shootout with police. But he was found the next day after a lockdown in Watertown was lifted and a local homeowner noticed blood on the dry-docked boat.
Tsarnaev’s arrest stunned those who knew him as a likable high school athlete in Cambridge, where he lived with his older brother after his parents left for Russia.
His parents were in Makhachkala, in the southern Russian province of Dagestan, on Wednesday. His mother declined to comment.
Prosecutors say Tsarnaev, a Muslim, wrote about his motivations for the bombing on the inside walls and beams of the boat where he was hiding.
He wrote the U.S. government was “killing our innocent civilians.”
“I don’t like killing innocent people,” he said, but also wrote: “I can’t stand to see such evil go unpunished. … We Muslims are one body, you hurt one you hurt us all.”
The indictment also said that, sometime before the bombings, Tsarnaev downloaded Internet material from Islamic extremists that advocated violence against the perceived enemies of Islam.
Three people — Martin Richard, 8, Krystle Marie Campbell, 29, and Lingzi Lu, 23 — were killed by the bombs, which were improvised from pressure cookers. Authorities say the Tsarnaevs also killed Massachusetts Institute of Technology officer Sean Collier days later while they were on the run.
Numerous bombing victims had legs amputated after the two explosions, which detonated along the final stretch of the race a couple hours after the elite runners had finished.