Boston Marathon bombing suspect pleads not guilty - WFLA News Channel 8

Boston Marathon bombing suspect pleads not guilty

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Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to 30 counts including use of a weapon of mass destruction to kill.
 
He entered the plea Wednesday in federal court in Boston.
 
For the first one, he leaned toward a microphone and said, "Not guilty," in a Russian accent. He then said not guilty repeatedly about a half-dozen more times.
 
Federal prosecutors are weighing whether to pursue the death penalty for the 19-year-old Tsarnaev.
 
Authorities say he and an older brother, Tamerlan, planted two bombs, which killed three people and wounded more than 260 at the April 15 marathon. The older brother was killed three days later following a shootout with police. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was later found hiding in a boat in a suburban backyard.
 
The arraignment marks his first public appearance since he was arrested April 19.

4/22/2013 Related Story: Boston Marathon suspect charged
 
The 30-count indictment against Tsarnaev includes 17 charges carrying the death penalty or life imprisonment. Aside from bombing-related counts, it also contains charges covering the slaying of a police officer and the carjacking of a motorist during the getaway attempt that left Tsarnaev's older brother, Tamerlan, dead.

5/1/2013 Related Story: Boston Marathon suspect's remains claimed
 
Reporters and spectators began lining up for seats in the courtroom at 7:30 a.m. as a dozen Federal Protective Service officers and bomb-sniffing dogs surrounded the courthouse.
 
Four hours before the hearing, the 19-year-old defendant arrived at the courthouse in a four-vehicle motorcade that included a van, a Humvee and a state police car.
 
A group of about a dozen Tsarnaev supporters cheered as the motorcade arrived. The demonstrators yelled "Justice for Jahar," as Tsarnaev is known. One woman held a sign that said, "Free Jahar."
 
Lacey Buckley, 23, said she traveled from her home in Wenatchee, Wash., to attend the arraignment. Buckley said she has never met Tsarnaev but came because she believes he's innocent. "I just think so many of his rights were violated. They almost murdered an unarmed kid in a boat," she said.
 
A group of friends who were on the high school wrestling team with Tsarnaev at Cambridge Rindge and Latin waited in line outside the courtroom for hours, hoping to get a seat.
 
One of them, Hank Alvarez, said Tsarnaev was calm, peaceful and apolitical in high school.
 
"Just knowing him, it's hard for me to face the fact that he did it," said Alvarez, 19, of Cambridge.
 
Another ex-teammate, Shun Tsou, 20, of Cambridge, called Tsarnaev "a silent warrior type."
 
"There was nothing sketchy about him," said Tsou, adding that he had not formed an opinion on Tsarnaev's guilt or innocence.
 
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.

4/15/2013 Related Story: Bay Area runners tweet, 'I'm OK' from Boston Marathon
 
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.
 
Tsarnaev's defense team has declined to comment on the accusations. The team includes prominent death penalty lawyer Judy Clarke, whose clients have included Unabomber Ted Kaczynski; Olympic Park bomber Eric Rudolph; and Tucson, Ariz., shooter Jared Loughner. All received life sentences instead of the death penalty.
 
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."

4/15/2013 Related Story: 3 dead including a child, over 140 injured in Boston Marathon explosions
 
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.
 

 

 

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