Tags: attacks | Boston | trial

Amputee Tells Boston Trial he Saw Alleged Attacker

Thursday, 05 Mar 2015 11:35 AM

A double amputee who survived the Boston Marathon attacks told court Thursday one of the alleged attackers brushed past him and dropped a backpack moments before the first bomb exploded.

Jeffrey Bauman, who lost both legs in the April 15, 2013 attacks while watching his girlfriend run the race, helped the FBI from his hospital bed to help track down one of the suspects.

Bauman walked into court wearing shorts exposing his prosthetic legs, explaining that full-length pants still trip him up.

He told the second day of presumed bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's trial how he saw a suspect -- who authorities identified after the attacks as Tsarnaev's older brother Tamerlan -- bump past him and drop the backpack.

"I thought that was very weird," he said. "Two seconds later I saw a flash, heard three pops and I was on the ground."

He looked down and saw his legs ripped open.

"It was just pure carnage. I could see my bones and my flesh sticking out and I just went into tunnel vision," he said.

He then heard the second bomb. "We're under attack that's what I was thinking on the ground," he said.

From his hospital bed he described to FBI agents the man he had seen, jotting down his observations before he could talk.

He described him as white, six feet three or two inches (1.87 meters), of athletic build and wearing a black cap "pulled down real low," aviator shades, a five o'clock shadow, wearing a hoodie and a black jacket.

 

 

He worked with the FBI on a sketch and when he saw a photograph of the suspect flash up on the news there was no doubt in his mind.

"I was like: 'That's the kid I saw, that's him!'"

Tsarnaev, wearing a brown jacket, a goatee and an open-necked shirt, kept his face averted from the witnesses and appeared emotionless in court.

The 21-year-old faces the death penalty if convicted of the bombings which killed three people and wounded 264, on April 15, 2013.

Born in Kyrgyzstan, he took US citizen in 2012 and has pleaded not guilty to 30 charges over the attacks, the subsequent killing of a police officer, a car jacking and shootout with police while on the run.

Defense lawyer Judy Clarke dramatically admitted Wednesday that the brothers were responsible, but put the bulk of the blame on Tamerlan.

The trial, which is being attended by survivors, is taking place nearly two years after what was the worst attack on US soil since 9/11.

Earlier Thursday, Boston police officer Frank Chiola told how he performed CPR on Krystle Campbell, one of the three people killed in the bombings.

"Smoke was coming out of her mouth," he told the court.

"She was suffering, she was in pain and shock," he added. Asked to describe the nature of her injuries, he said he did not have the words.

"From the waist down it's really tough to describe, complete mutilation."

 

 

Chiola said he ran to the scene as soon as the first bomb exploded.

"I saw blood everywhere, shock, people's faces you couldn't tell who was alive or dead," he said.

Government prosecutors say Tsarnaev carried out the attacks to avenge the deaths of fellow Muslims overseas after learning how to build pressure-cooker bombs through an Al-Qaeda publication.

They have portrayed a cold, callous killer who calmly shopped for milk just 20 minutes later as paramedics battled in vain to save a mortally wounded eight-year-old boy.

Rebekah Gregory, who lost a leg and who was one of the first to testify on Wednesday, wrote an open letter addressed to the defendant posted on Facebook in which she called him a coward.

"You are a coward. A little boy who wouldn't even look me in the eyes to see that. Because you can't handle the fact that what you tried to destroy, you only made stronger," she wrote.

Before the trial, she said she had feared Tsarnaev ever since the attacks and that his face had haunted her nightmares.

But all that had changed, she wrote.

"Now to me you're a nobody, and it is official that you have lost. So man that really sucks for you bro. I truly hope it was worth it."

 

© AFP 2017

   
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A double amputee who survived the Boston Marathon attacks told court Thursday one of the alleged attackers brushed past him and dropped a backpack moments before the first bomb exploded.Jeffrey Bauman, who lost both legs in the April 15, 2013 attacks while watching his...
attacks, Boston, trial
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2015-35-05
Thursday, 05 Mar 2015 11:35 AM
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