A man who became one of the lasting images of the Boston Marathon bombing when he was wheeled away, ashen-faced, his legs severely injured, has told a court that he locked eyes with the bomber’s older brother before the explosives went off.
“He was alone. He wasn’t watching the race,” said Jeff Bauman, who walked slowly into the Boston court on two prosthetic legs. “I looked at him, and he just kind of looked down at me. I just thought it was odd.”
Mr Bauman later described Tamerlan Tsarnaev to the FBI from his hospital bed. Tsarnaev, 26, died in a gun battle with police days after the bombing.
He was giving evidence at the trial of Tsarnaev’s younger brother, Dzhokhar, who could get the death penalty if convicted of charges he helped carry out the 2013 bombings that killed three people and wounded more than 260.
Mr Bauman described how he went to the marathon April 15, 2013, to see his future wife run. He told jurors that he saw Tsarnaev’s brother, Tamerlan, before the two bombs exploded. Bauman remembers that he wasn’t watching the race.
He says: “He didn’t look like he was having fun like everyone else.’’
Bauman later described Tamerlan Tsarnaev to the FBI.
Before yesterday’s evidence began, Tsarnaev’s lawyers complained to the judge that the survivors’ evidence from the previous day was too gruesome and should be limited.
Defence lawyer David Bruck objected specifically to the evidence of three women who described their injuries in detail and what they saw in the aftermath of the attack.
Mr Bruck said that under the federal death penalty law, victim impact testimony is supposed to be presented during the second phase of the trial, when the jury decides on the punishment.
Prosecutors denied that any of the survivors gave victim impact testimony and said they merely described what they saw.
US District Judge George O’Toole Jr agreed with prosecutors and refused to limit survivors’ evidence.
The trial opened on Wednesday, with Tsarnaev lawyer Judy Clarke admitting to the jury her client took part in the attack. But in a bid to save Tsarnaev’s life, she argued that he was influenced by his older brother.
The first witness to give evidence on Thursday was a policeman who was the first officer to reach 29-year-old Krystle Campbell, one of those killed.
Officer Frank Chiola said he ran across the street to help the victims as soon as he heard the explosions.
As he reached Ms Campbell and began doing chest compressions, he said, smoke came out of her mouth. He said she appeared to be in a lot of pain.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved