A Boston jury has found Dzhkohar Tsarnaev guilty on all 30 counts related to the deadly 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, meaning Tsarnaev could face the death penalty.
Wearing a dark jacket over a blue shirt, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev entered the courtroom and took his seat next to his attorney Judy Clarke. As the verdicts were read, Tsarnaev did not react and has not looked at the jurors.
He slumped in his chair, however, after he was convicted of all 30 counts. The courtroom fell silent when the clerk asked all 12 jurors to affirm their verdict and they responded “Yes.” Judge George O’Toole reminded jurors they are “still active an active jury” because the second phase of the trial, the penalty phase, will determine whether Tsarnaev lives or dies. The penalty phase will begin “early next week,” the judge said.
Twin blasts near the finish line of the April 2013 Boston Marathon killed three people and injured some 260 others. In a still image taken just before the explosion, Tsarnaev can be seen apparently dropping a backpack that prosecutors said contained a bomb in the middle of the crowd, just behind eight-year-old Martin Richard, who was killed in the blast. Tsarnaev also faced charges relating to the murder of MIT police officer Sean Collier three days later.
From the outset of the trial, Tsarnaev’s attorneys had argued not that Tsarnaev was free from blame for the horrific allegations lodged against him, but that he was under the influence of his older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev — a strategy that legal analysts told ABC News was not designed to win the trial, but to avoid the death penalty later in a penalty phase to follow. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a police shootout days after the marathon bombing.
For three weeks prosecutors brought in survivors of the bombing and family members of the dead for graphic, heartbreaking testimony. Rebekah Gregory, who lost her left leg in the attack, told ABC News that when she took the stand she tried to meet eyes with Tsarnaev, but the “coward” averted his gaze.
“I could not look into his eyes because he wouldn’t look at me,” she told ABC News today after testifying. “But I tried and I looked him in the face several times and I wanted him to know I was not scared of him.”
Clarke just took one day to present Tsarnaev’s defense, which highlighted evidence that she said painted Tamerlan Tsarnaev as the ringleader in the plot. She said fingerprints on bomb components, for instance, were Tamerlan’s and not Dzhokhar’s.
“There is no excuse. No one is trying to make one. Planting bombs at the Boston Marathon was a senseless act… We are not asking you to excuse the conduct, but let’s look at the varying roles,” Clarke said during closing arguments. “If not for Tamerlan, it [the bombing] wouldn’t have happened.”