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 in federal court in Boston.
For the first one, he leaned toward a microphone and said: “Not guilty”. He then said not guilty repeatedly about a half-dozen other times.
Federal prosecutors are weighing whether to pursue the death penalty for 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 on April 19.
He was initially charged in a hospital where he was recovering from wounds suffered in a police shootout.
Prosecutors say Tsarnaev, a Muslim, wrote about his motivations for the bombing on the walls inside the boat where he was captured. He wrote that the US government was “killing our innocent civilians”.
Tsarnaev’s two sisters were in court today, and one of them sobbed. His parents remained in Russia.
About a dozen Tsarnaev supporters cheered as his motorcade arrived, yelling, “Justice for Jahar!” as Tsarnaev is known. One woman held a sign that said “Free Jahar”.
Lacey Buckley, 23, said she has never met Tsarnaev but came because she believes he is 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 Tsarnaev’s friends waited in line outside the courtroom for hours, hoping to get a seat.
“Just knowing him, it’s hard for me to face the fact that he did it,” said Hank Alvarez, 19, who called his friend calm, peaceful and apolitical.
“There was nothing sketchy about him,” said another friend, 20-year-old Shun Tsou, who added that he had not formed an opinion on Tsarnaev’s guilt or innocence.