Boston bombing suspect pleads not guilty

Boston bombing suspect pleads not guilty

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.

More on this topic

After the Boston bombs: Out of hate came loveAfter the Boston bombs: Out of hate came love

Boston marks five years since marathon attack with tributesBoston marks five years since marathon attack with tributes

Man who helped police arrest Boston marathon bomber dies aged 70Man who helped police arrest Boston marathon bomber dies aged 70

Boston bomber to seek new trialBoston bomber to seek new trial


More in this Section

WHO says Sri Lanka and Maldives have eliminated measles and rubellaWHO says Sri Lanka and Maldives have eliminated measles and rubella

New French PM defends promotion of minister accused of rapeNew French PM defends promotion of minister accused of rape

German prosecutors close probe into 1980 Oktoberfest bombingGerman prosecutors close probe into 1980 Oktoberfest bombing

Trump niece’s book offers scathing portrayal of presidentTrump niece’s book offers scathing portrayal of president


Lifestyle

Dónal Clancy is a musician from An Rinn in Co Waterford. He will perform the music of his late father, Liam Clancy, in a special online solo performance on Thursday at 7pm as part of this year's Clonmel Junction Festival.Question of Taste: Dónal Clancy

BETWEEN 1973 and early 1975, John Lennon split with Yoko Ono, took up with his assistant May Pang and embarked on a period of intense creativity and outrageous behaviour. Lennon later described this time as his “lost weekend”.Rufus Wainwright has returned a new man

Stan O’Sullivan tells Ellie O’Byrne about the genre-busting album from 2007 that probably doesn’t get the recognition it deservesB-Side the Leeside - Cork’s Greatest Records: Louder & Clearer from Stanley Super 800

In recent times one of the most recurring and troubling conversations I have with teenagers, in therapy, is around their use of marijuana. Often parents seek out therapy because they have noticed a dramatic shift in their child’s behaviour.Richard Hogan: Beware of making light of your teen's marijuana use

More From The Irish Examiner