Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Indicted on 30 Counts, Faces Death or Life In Prison

Thursday, 27 Jun 2013 07:17 PM

By Teresa Meek

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A federal grand jury has returned a 30-count indictment against Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, including 17 charges punishable by death or life imprisonment, the Washington Post reported.

The April 15 Boston bombing killed three people and wounded more than 260 others. U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz of Massachusetts told CBS that Attorney General Eric Holder will decide whether to pursue the death penalty.

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The indictment includes charges previously brought against Tsarnaev in April, but also contains new ones related to his alleged slaying of an MIT police officer and carjacking of a driver during a getaway. That episode ended in a shootout with police that killed Tsarnaev’s older brother Tamerlan.

"Tamerlan Tsarnaev's justice will be in the next world, but for his brother, accountability will begin right here in the district of Massachusetts," Suffolk, Mass., District Attorney Daniel Conley said at a news conference, as reported by CBS.

After the shootout with police, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev hid in a boat parked in a resident’s backyard in Watertown, Mass. The indictment says he scrawled messages on the inside of the boat saying, "The U.S. Government is killing our innocent civilians," "I can't stand to see such evil go unpunished," and "We Muslims are one body you hurt one you hurt us all."

Prosecutors also said Tsarnaev had downloaded radical Muslim literature onto his computer, including including a digital copy of “The Slicing Sword,” an anti-Western book. The book includes a foreword written by Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born al-Qaida operative in Yemen who was killed by a drone in September 2011.

The indictment describes how the Tsarnaevs arrived near the finish line at the Boston Marathon carrying black backpacks filled with improvised explosive devices. The brothers spoke on cellphones before detonating the bombs.

The indictment says the bombs were constructed in a manner "designed to shred flesh, shatter bone and cause extreme pain and suffering, as well as death," Yahoo! News reported.

According to the charges, Tsarnaev downloaded instructions for assembling the bombs, which were made from pressure cookers, low-explosive powder, and shrapnel, from the magazine Inspire, an English-language al-Qaida publication produced in Yemen.

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Related stories:

Rep. Cohen: Russians Could Have 'Offed' Tsarnaev

Video Shows Tsarnaev Brothers Working Out Before Boston Bombings

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