Boston bombing suspect Dzhokahar Tsarnev will be fighting for his life in the courtroom if attorneys cannot reach some kind of plea deal. According to Boston.com, “Attorney General Eric Holder has authorized federal prosecutors to seek the death penalty” for Tsarnev. The dual bombings during the Boston Marathon April 15, 2013 killed three people and injured between 260-290 people. During the manhunt, either Tsarnev or his brother Tamerlan who was later killed himself, shot and killed MIT police officer Sean Collier.
Of the 30 federal charges Tsarnev faces, federal prosecutors will seek the death penalty for 17 of them. The statement from the U.S. Attorney General cites the large scope of the crime as their rationale for seeking the ultimate punishment. Also, a charge that “death occurred during the commission of another crime” (evading police) is thought to be a direct reference to the murder of the Officer Collier.
U.S. District Judge George O’Toole, Jr. assigned four public defenders to represent Tsarnev during the trial, such as Judy Clarke who has defended death penalty cases in the past. According to the Boston Globe, “Tsarnev’s defense team may also consider whether to ask the judge to relocate the trial to a different district either in state or out of state.” While their logic makes sense, one wonders if there is any district in the U.S. that wouldn’t have a preconceived bias against the suspect of the first successful terrorist attack in the homeland since 9/11.
An in-depth feature from Rolling Stone—that was almost totally ignored by the media in favor of a phony controversy about their cover photo—examined through interviews with associates how Tsarnev went from a relatively popular immigrant kid in America to a radical extremist hell-bent on destruction, shines a light on what the FBI investigators may have found and what may come up in the trial.
Only the American Civil Liberties Union has made a statement condemning the decision to seek the death penalty, and only because the organization is against it across the board. For most others, the decision to seek the death penalty does not come as a surprise.
Bella Tsarnaeva, a sister of the alleged Boston Marathon bombing suspects, appeared in court this week to face drug charges stemming from an arrest last year.
In December 2012, police responded to a domestic violence call at the 24-year-old and her boyfriend’s apartment in Fairview, New Jersey. When officers arrived, they immediately smelled marijuana and arrested the two. Bella was charged with possession and distribution and plead not guilty to the charges back in May.
The woman appeared in court earlier this week, but her criminal record will likely be wiped clean. Prosecutors say that she will be admitted to a pre-trial intervention program while a deal is drawn up with her boyfriend.
Bella’s brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev are allegedly responsible for the April bombings at the Boston Marathon. Tamerlan was killed during a shootout with police following a long manhunt for the suspects, while Dzhokhar was eventually found hiding out in a boat parked in someone’s backyard. Dzhokhar, 19, remains in jail and faces terrorism charges. The Boston Bombing killed three and injured nearly 265 others. A fourth person, university police officer Sean Collier, was shot to death by the brothers during the manhunt that followed the bombing.
Bella has not been implicated in the attacks and maintains that she had nothing to do with what happened, but despite no involvement, she allegedly receives verbal abuse and death threats often.
The background of the Tsarnaev family is complicated, as most of the extended relatives living in and out of the U.S. condemn what the two brothers allegedly did back in April. The parents, however, who currently reside in the northern Russian caucus of Dagestan, believe that their surviving teenage son is not only innocent, but is a “victim” of the justice system in America.
While Dzhokhar sits in jail awaiting a trial on charges of terrorism, his sister Bella is dealing with her own set of problems after her arrest on drug charges back in December, prior to the attacks in Boston. Her boyfriend, Ahmad Khalil, faces the same drug charges and also pleads not guilty.
While controversy continues to swirl about accused Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev appearing on the cover of the latest Rolling Stone cover, there seems to be a sort of national amnesia that Charles Manson also appeared on the magazine's cover.
On Manson's 1970 cover, the headline read: "The Incredible Story of the Most Dangerous Man Alive," notes the Tampa Bay Times.
If Tsarnaev looks like a "rock star," Manson's Rolling Stone could have been an album cover.
CVS pharmacy has decided not to sell the current issue of Rolling Stone featuring the Boston Marathon bombing suspect, which many people have applauded. However, CVS will continue to sell prescription drugs at 450 percent mark-up above Costco prices, but there does not seem to be much outrage over the enormous price gouging.
Inside the Rolling Stone featuring Tsarnaev, there is a fascinating story about a normal teen gone very wrong by Janet Reitman, but it is likely to be ignored by those who cannot get past the cover.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 19-year-old charged with the homicide of four people in April, is due in court today at Boston's U.S. District Courthouse. The Chechnyan immigrant is accused of killing three people by remotely detonating bombs made from pressure cookers and later murdering a MIT campus officer. If convicted, Tsarnaev could face the death penalty.
The two explosions, which occurred on April 15 near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, injured 264 in addition to killing an 8-year-old boy, a 23-year-old graduate student and a 29-year-old woman. While the city was put on lockdown, authorities managed to track down the fleeing Tsarnaev and his brother by the GPS locator on the car they hijacked. Dzhokhar’s brother, Tamerlan, older by seven years, was shot and killed by authorities before being run over by Dzhokhar, who fled the scene.
Security outside the courthouse was even tighter than usual with the ongoing high profile case of mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger. Dozens of armed cars and officers patrolled the building with bomb sniffing dogs.
The defense will likely appear briefly, pleading guilty in the face of overwhelming incriminating evidence. Before hijacking a car, the brothers informed the driver they had committed the bombings and the murder of an officer. While hiding in Watertown, the wounded Dzhokhar scrawled a note on the walls and beams of the boat he hid in saying, “The U.S. Government is killing our innocent civilians. We Muslims are one body, you hurt one you hurt us all ... Now I don't like killing innocent people it is forbidden in Islam but due to said it is allowed ... Stop killing our innocent people and we will stop."
To avoid the death penalty, defense attorney Miriam Conrad is expected to depict Dzhokhar as an impressionable teen, radicalized by his brother.
Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was handed down a 30-count indictment by a federal grand jury in Boston on Thursday.
The 19-year-old has been charged with a litany of crimes, including conspiring to use and using weapons of mass destruction resulting in the death of three people and injuring 260 others, as well as murdering Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus police officer Sean Collier.
If convicted, the teen faces life in prison or possibly the death sentence.
The charges allege that the teen and his 27-year-old brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev planned for three months to use the homemade bombs at the finish line of the annual Boston Marathon. Then, while on the run after the FBI released photos of the brothers three days later, they shot and killed the MIT campus police officer in an attempt to steal his firearm.
Tamerlan was killed in a stand-off with police later that night, and Dzhokhar was found hours later injured and hiding in a Watertown resident’s boat. According to the charges, he wrote inside the boat his justification for the crimes before he was captured.
“The U.S. government is killing our innocent civilians…I can't stand to see such evil go unpunished… We Muslims are one body, you hurt one you hurt us all… Now I don't like killing innocent people it is forbidden in Islam but due to said (unintelligible word) it is allowed… Stop killing our innocent people and we will stop,” Dzhokhar wrote.
Since his capture, Dzhokhar has been held at a prison medical center outside of Boston. He is scheduled to be arraigned July 10.
On Tuesday, the U.K.’s Channel 4 News revealed the first recording of Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s voice since the marathon bombing occurred.
Channel 4 News obtained the audio recording from Tsarnaev’s mother, Zubaidet Tsarnaev, who played the clip on the air. It was his first phone call to his family since the event.
In the phone call to his mother from a military prison, Tsarnaev spoke in Russian and told his mother that he is eating well and is in good health. He added that he was not in pain.
“I'm already eating and have been for a long time,” Tsarnaev said. “They are giving me rice and chicken now, everything's fine.”
When his mother asked if he needed anything, Tsarnaev said he was being provided for.
“I do have money,” he said. “Somebody opened an account for me and people send me money here.”
Tsaernev also told his mother that he was asking God for support.
His parents said they were surprised by his calm words and that Tsaernev reassured his mother instead of asking her questions.
His father, Anzor Ysaernev, said Tsaernev is in shock and doesn’t understand what has happened to him.
“I understand,” Ysaernev said. “I’m just ... someone who is shocked because justice has vanished.”
Tsarnaev’s parents continue to insist on his innocence and have raised money and started a “Free Jahar” website.
The one living suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings has recovered enough from his injuries to begin proclaiming his innocence.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, spoke to his mother last week on the phone and assured her that he was innocent. Zubeidat Tsarnaeva said that it was the first time she had spoken to her son since the bombings last month. Her other son, 26-year-old Tamerlan, was killed by police during a shootout.
According to Zubeidat, Dzhokhar told her he was getting better but that he was having a tough time figuring out what had happened to him.
"He didn't hold back his emotions either, as if he were screaming to the whole world: What is this? What's happening?," she said. "I could just feel that he was being driven crazy by the unfairness that happened to us, that they killed our innocent Tamerlan.”
Anzor Tsarnaev also believes that his sons are innocent of the horrific crimes they have been accused of and is still holding out hope that Dzhokhar will eventually be exonerated, My Fox8 reported.
"All I can do is pray to God and hope that one day fairness will win out, our children will be cleared, and we will at least get Dzhokhar back, crippled, but at least alive," he said.
It has reported that the Tsarnaevs were planning to turn their old home into a dentist's office, so that Dzhokhar would have somewhere to work when he returned from the U.S. He was a dental hygiene student.
Bombing suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev allegedly wrote a confessional note inside the boat where he hid from police stating that the Boston Marathon attack was retaliation for American action against Muslims.
Sources told senior correspondent John Miller of CBS News that Tsarnaev wrote in pen on the hull of the Watertown, Mass., boat while he hid under a tarp from authorities.
Tsarnaev allegedly wrote that the bombing victims were just collateral damage like those Muslims killed in American-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“When you attack one Muslim you attack all Muslims,” the note said.
He claimed he did not mourn his brother Tamerlan, who died in a shootout with police hours earlier. He claimed Tamerlan had become a martyr in paradise and the he would soon join him there.
Sources said the note had bullet holes in it. Authorities fired on the boat, fearing Tsarnaev still had a bomb, after he poked his head out of the tarp.
On “CBS This Morning” Thursday Miller said the note is “certainly admissible in court.” The note not only discloses motive, it is “consistent with what he told investigators while he was in custody," before he was read his Miranda rights.
Any fight the defense was hoping to use because Tsarnaev was not read his Miranda warning would be dashed in this particular instance.
After his capture Dzhokhar told investigators that he and his brother acted alone in the attack. Neither Dzhokhar nor Tamerlan prepared a video or some other formal claim of responsibility for the Boston Marathon bombing, which baffled investigators. The note was meant to state clearly what the Tsarnaev brothers had just done, Miller said.
Miller said, "the last big question remaining is going to be who else knew anything? Is it going to be the wife? Is it someone overseas?"
Charged with using a weapon of mass destruction, Tsarnaev, 19, remains in custody in a federal prison in Massachusetts.
Thousands of American girls have developed a crush on the Boston Marathon bombing suspect and are using social media to exonerate him.
The hashtag to FreeJahar, referring to 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, has been trending on Twitter and Facebook. One girl from Topeka, Kan., said she would get a phrase tweeted by Tsarnaev just a week before the terrorist attack tattooed on her body.
“Getting one of Jahar’s tweets tattooed on me tomorrow. Guess you could say I’m a #FreeJahar supporter,” @keepitbluntedd tweeted on May 7. The quote, tweeted by Tsarnaev on April 8, reads: “If you have the knowledge and the inspiration, all that’s left is to take action.”
The girl, named Alisha, later tweeted that she would postpone getting Tsarnaev’s words tattooed on her upper arm, “out of respect of my family’s wishes.”
Alisha told The Post that she doesn’t insist Tsarnaev is innocent because she has a schoolgirl crush. “Somebody needs to stand up for him, and not the little high-school girls who just think he’s cute,” Alisha said.
Rather it is her opinon that he was “just this pothead 19-year-old boy who didn’t care.” He couldn’t be the bomber. “I don’t see it,” she said.
Twitter accounts have popped up under different handles asserting that the 19-year-old is innocent.
“Jahar boy of love & Truth Innocent his trail is the real test for American Democracy,” tweeted freejaharlove on May 9.
The user Tsarnaev5ever tweeted, “Jahar is gonna go crazy in that cell alone with just a book ... I wanna send money to him ... Anyone have the address?”
Some users have tweeted under #FreeJahar referencing the latest reports that Dzhokhar’s older brother Tamerlan was allegedly physically and emotionally abusive towards his longtime girlfriend Nadine Ascencao.
Lovenoh8Peyton asked, “Why do Muslim men treat woman so poorly? #freejahar”
To which _JaharSupport responded, “You’re seriously the worst person ever. I feel bad for your kid.”
Other users warned not to use the hashtag for crushes or puppy love. “If you think jahar is "hot" or something it's fine but don't tweet. keep it to yourself. that's the think that makes us look bad,” Justice4Jahar1 tweeted today.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured and is being held at federal prison in Fort Devens, Mass., on charges of using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction.
His brother Tamerlan died in a shootout with police on April 19, four days after he allegedly set off bombs at the Boston Marathon killing three people and injuring hundreds. He left behind a wife and a 3-year-old daughter.
Although evidence continues to mount against the two brothers suspected of plotting last month’s Boston Marathon bombings, police were referring to a gruesome 2011 triple-homicide – and not the recent bombings – when discussing the Tsarnaev brothers with media outlets Friday.
Earlier in the day, ABC News reported “mounting evidence” is leading investigators to suspect both Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev may have played a role in an unsolved triple-homicide that took place in Waltham, Massachusetts – just minutes away from where the brothers had most recently lived.
In that case, three of Tamerlan’s former friends – Brendan Mess, Raphael Teken, and Erik Weissman - were all found dead in Mess’ Waltham apartment on September 12, 2011, their throats slit and bodies covered in approximately seven pounds of marijuana.
According to the Atlantic Wire, police also seized $5,000 from the scene.
In the immediate aftermath of the discovery, police stated there were no signs of forced entry and that it appeared the murders were “targeted and not a random act of violence.”
Although the elder Tsarnaev was never labeled a suspect by police, investigators reopened the cold case after learning of Tamerlan’s role in last month’s Boston Marathon bombings.
And now, things that weren’t particularly suspicious appear highly relevant in regards to the 2011 case.
For one, Tsarnaev described Mess – who, like Tek and Weissman, was Jewish - as his “best friend.” Odd, given the fact he failed to appear at his “best friend’s” memorial service and funeral – something that raised eyebrows with those who knew the elder Tsarnaev.
"Tam wasn't there at the memorial service, he wasn't at the funeral, he wasn't around at all," a friend of the murdered men told the Boston Globe. "And he was really close with Brendan. That's why it's so weird when he said, 'I don't have any American friends.'"
"He was somebody who was in contact with Brendan on a daily basis. Anybody like that, you would think they would have been around,” the man said.
Tamerlan wasn’t even around the general area for very long following the murders. Just several months later he took off on his now-infamous trip to Russia.
Additionally, the grisly murders – which one Waltham police officer described as “the worst bloodbath I have ever seen in a long law enforcement career” – occurred on the night of September 11, the tenth anniversary of the September 11 World Trade Center attacks.
Further, several media outlets were reporting that forensic evidence taken from the crime scene was a match for both Tsarnaev brothers while cell phone records also placed them in the area of Mess’ apartment that same day.
Although it’s all speculation at this stage, many are now second-guessing whether the brothers could have been wreaking havoc before April’s infamous bombings.