Jury reaches verdict in Boston Marathon death penalty trial - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Boston bombing trial: Jury finds Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty on several counts

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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

UPDATE:  Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been convicted for his role in the April 15, 2013 bombings of the Boston Marathon, ending the first phase of a terror trial that will now continue with a penalty phase to determine whether he will be executed.


A jury of seven women and five men who had deliberated for two days delivered guilty verdicts Wednesday in at least 23 of the 30 criminal counts against Tsarnaev, who was 19 when twin blasts rocked the race's finish line. Three people died and 260 were injured in the worst terror attacks on American soil since 9/11.

As the verdict was being read out, Tsarnaev appeared to have no emotion. William Richard, the father of 8-year-old bombing victim Martin Richard, had his arm around his wife.

The verdicts arrived a week before the bombing's second anniversary, bringing the city closer to reckoning as it prepares for the 119th Boston Marathon, to be held April 20.

Tsarnaev, now 21, was widely expected to be found guilty of at least several of the charges, since his defense lawyers admitted from the trial's outset that he took part in the attack. Their strategy was to save him from execution by painting him as a dupe of his radicalized older brother.

The trial began March 4 and included weeks of graphic testimony that dragged the city through painful memories of the bombings and the four-day manhunt that followed. While on the run, authorities said, Tsarnaev and his brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, killed an MIT police officer, carjacked a Mercedes SUV and got into a shootout with police in suburban Watertown, Massachusetts. Tamerlan was killed, and Dzhokhar escaped in the SUV, abandoning it to take refuge in a boat parked behind a nearby house. He was arrested a few hours later.

Prosecutors called dozens of witnesses in an attempt to document Tsarnaev's gradual radicalization into a full blown jihadist, and his planting of one of two pressure cooker bombs that exploded on Boylston Street. They argued that he was an equal partner with his brother in the attack and the mayhem that followed.

Among the 30 criminal counts Tsarnaev faced was the murder of the three bombing fatalities — the little boy, Richard Martin, 8; Lingzi Lu, 23; and Krystle Campbell, 29 — and of the MIT officer, Sean Collier, 26, even though prosecutors couldn't prove which brother pulled the trigger.

The jury heard from Martin's father, and from friends and rescue workers who tended to Campbell and Lu. Other victims recalled losing limbs. Prosecutors played gruesome video footage of the scene, and shared photos of the injuries.

Tsarnaev remained silent and still through most of the trial, rarely showing any emotion. His lawyers called just four witnesses, all evidence technicians they hoped would bolster their argument that fingerprints, receipts and digital evidence showed Tamerlan was the mastermind, and Dzhokhar an impressionable teenager who bought into his brother's twisted vision.

Lead defense lawyer Judy Clarke asked the jury during the trial's first phase to "keep your minds open" to that notion. She'll expand on that in the trial's penalty phase, which the jury will begin hearing soon.



UPDATE: By The Associated Press

A timeline of events related to the Boston Marathon bombing, which killed three people and injured 260 others on April 15, 2013. A federal jury on Wednesday convicted Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who defenders say was influenced by his older brother, Tamerlan.

March 2011: Russian FSB intelligence security service gives FBI information that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a follower of radical Islam.

June 2011: FBI closes investigation after finding nothing to link Tamerlan Tsarnaev to terrorism.

Sept. 12, 2011: Bodies of three men are found in Waltham, Massachusetts, with their throats slit and marijuana sprinkled over them.

Late 2011: U.S. officials add the Tsarnaevs' mother to a federal terrorism database after Russia contacts CIA with concerns they were religious militants about to travel to Russia. She later says she has no links to terrorism.

January 2012: Tamerlan arrives in Russia, where he spends time in two predominantly Muslim provinces, Dagestan and Chechnya.

July 2012: Officials in Dagestan say Tamerlan applies for a new passport but never picks it up. Russian officials say they have him under surveillance but lose track of him after the death of a Canadian man who had joined an Islamic insurgency in the region.

July 17, 2012: Tamerlan returns to U.S.

November 2012: Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center in Cambridge says Tamerlan has an outburst that interrupts a sermon about it being acceptable for Muslims to celebrate American holidays.

January 2013: Islamic Society says Tamerlan has a second outburst after a sermon that includes praise for the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

April 15, 2013: Bombs go off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring more than 260 others.

April 16, 2013: Federal agents say the bombs were made from pressure cookers packed with explosives, nails and other shrapnel, but they still don't know who detonated them or why.

April 17, 2013: President Barack Obama signs emergency declaration for Massachusetts and orders federal aid to supplement local response.

April 18, 2013: Investigators release photos and video of two suspects and ask for public's help identifying them. Later that night, Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier is shot to death in his cruiser, allegedly by Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Prosecutors say they steal an SUV at gunpoint from a Cambridge gas station. The driver is held for about a half-hour, then released unharmed.

April 19, 2013: Tsarnaevs have an early morning gunbattle with authorities who have tracked them to Watertown. Tamerlan, who is run over by his younger brother, dies. Dzhokhar escapes, and at around 6 a.m., authorities tell residents of Boston and surrounding communities to stay indoors. All mass transit is shut down. That order is lifted around 6:30 p.m., just before authorities trace Dzhokhar to a Watertown backyard, where he is found hiding in a boat and taken into custody.

April 22, 2013: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, injured in the shootout, is charged in his hospital room with using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction.

April 30, 2013: Two friends of Dzhokhar's are charged with attempting to destroy evidence by disposing of a backpack and laptop computer taken from his room after they found he was a suspect in the bombing. Another is charged with lying to investigators.

May 9, 2013: Tamerlan Tsarnaev is secretly buried in Virginia after a weeklong search for a cemetery willing to take the body.

May 22, 2013: An FBI agent in Orlando, Florida, fatally shoots Ibragim Todashev, a friend of Tamerlan's, after he lunges at law enforcement officials questioning him about the Waltham killings. Officials say that before he died, he had agreed to give a statement about his involvement.

July 10, 2013: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pleads not guilty to 30 federal charges.

July 23, 2013: Marc Fucarile is the last survivor of the bombings to leave the hospital.

Jan. 30, 2014: Prosecutors announce they will seek the death penalty against Dzhokhar.

April 15, 2014: Ceremonies and events mark the anniversary of the attacks.

April 21, 2014: The 2014 Boston Marathon features a field of 36,000 runners, 9,000 more than 2013 and the second-biggest field in history.

May 30, 2014: Khairullozhon Matanov, 23, of Quincy, is arrested on charges of obstructing the investigation by deleting information from his computer and lying to investigators.

June 18, 2014: Tsarnaev's lawyers file first of several requests to move the trial to Washington, D.C.

July 21, 2014: Azamat Tazhayakov, a college friend of Dzhokhar's, is convicted of obstruction of justice and conspiracy for agreeing with another friend to get rid of a backpack and disabled fireworks they took from his dorm room three days after the attack.

July 22, 2014: Stephen Silva, believed to have provided the gun used by the Tsarnaevs to kill Collier, is arrested on drug and weapons charges.

Aug. 22, 2014: Dias Kadyrbayev, 20, pleads guilty to impeding the investigation by removing incriminating evidence from Dzhokhar's dorm room.

Sept. 24, 2014: Judge grants delay and pushes start of trial to Jan. 5, 2015.

Oct. 28, 2014: Robel Phillipos, 21, of Cambridge, is convicted of lying to federal agents about being in Dzhokhar's room.

Nov. 25, 2014: Federal judge rejects a request from lawyers for Tsarnaev to order prosecutors to turn over evidence about his older brother's possible participation in the Waltham slayings.

Dec. 18, 2014: Tsarnaev appears in court for first time since his July 2013 arraignment.

Jan. 5, 2015: Jury selection begins in Tsarnaev's trial.

March 4, 2015: Tsarnaev's lead defense attorney, Judy Clarke, declares in opening statements: "It was him."

April 6, 2015: Prosecutors and defense present closing statements.

April 7, 2015: Jury begins deliberating verdicts.

April 8, 2015: Jury convicts Tsarnaev; will weigh possible death sentence in forthcoming penalty phase of trial.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


UPDATE: Jury finds Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty in Boston Marathon bombing 

By DENISE LAVOIE, AP Legal Affairs Writer

BOSTON (AP) - A jury has reached a verdict in the federal death penalty trial of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

The verdict is expected to be announced shortly in U.S. District Court. Lawyers and survivors of the bombing are gathering in court.

The verdict was reached Wednesday afternoon after a little over 12 hours of deliberations over two days.

Tsarnaev's lawyers admitted he participated in the bombings, but said his now-dead older brother was the driving force behind the 2013 deadly attack.

The jury was asked to decide 30 charges against Tsarnaev, including using a weapon of mass destruction.

If the jury convicts Tsarnaev, it will move on to a second phase of the trial to decide whether he should receive the death penalty or spend the rest of his life in prison.

Three people were killed and more than 260 were injured when twin pressure-cooker bombs exploded near the marathon finish line on April 15, 2013.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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