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Boston Marathon Bombing Jury Finds Tsarnaev Guilty On All Counts

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Getty Images
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

A jury in Boston has found 21-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty on all counts related to the 2013 bombings of the Boston Marathon. The twin bombings, carried out with his older brother, Tamerlan, killed three people and left 264 others wounded.

The jury convicted Tsarnaev on all charges, ranging from carjacking to using a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death. Tsarnaev was found guilty in the deaths of Krystle Campbell, Lingzi Lu and 8-year-old Martin Richard during the bombings as well as for the death of MIT police officer Sean Collier during a shootout that ensued after the bombings. Seventeen of the 30 counts can carry the death penalty.

Next will comes the sentencing phase. WBUR, which is live tweeting, reports that won't begin until next week.

NPR member station WBUR, which is live-tweeting the verdict, reports that as the verdict was read, Tsarnaev kept his head down, apparently "reading the verdict sheet." Occasionally, WBUR reports, Tsarnaev would look up, but he had "no expression."

During the trial, prosecutors argued that Tsarnaev was cold and calculating.

"There was nothing about this day that was a twist of fate," Assistant U.S. Attorney Aloke Chakravarty told the jurors during closing arguments. "This was a cold, calculated terrorist act. This was intentional. It was bloodthirsty. It was to make a point. It was to tell America that 'We will not be terrorized by you anymore. We will terrorize you.'"

Tsarnaev's defense attorneys never denied that Tsarnaev participated in the bombings, but they argued that he was under the strong influence of his brother.

If you remember, the 2013 Boston Marathon was rocked by two explosions, as the last wave of runners were making their way across the finish line. The blasts killed three spectators, maimed dozens of others, and unleashed a massive manhunt that shutdown most of the Boston metropolitan area.

Tsarnaev's brother, Tamerlan, died following a gunfight with police and Tsarnaev was eventually found badly injured hiding in a boat behind a home in Watertown, Mass.

The jury reached its verdict after deliberating for a little more than a day.

Update at 3:45 p.m. ET. Glad Tsarnaev Showed No Emotion:

Karen Brassard, who survived the bombing, told reporters: "We're grateful to have him off the street. I'm grateful to show everyone, the world, that it's not tolerated. This is not how we behave. And we're grateful that everybody has worked so hard to make it known that, you know, we're not going to allow this."

She went on: "For me, it just didn't matter, you know. He was all in. he's a grown man and made choices knowing what the outcome could be and knowing what the consequence would be. And he made the choice to go ahead."

She said she was speaking for a group of survivors and for the family members of victims.

Update at 2:25 p.m. ET. Half Way Through Charges:

We're halfway through the charges and so far jury has returned a guilty verdict on all 15. As NPR's Tovia Smith reports, "In a nutshell: Tsarnaev faces the death penalty. A whole new trial on sentencing begins after this."

Update at 2:09 p.m. ET. Judge, Jury Enter Court Room:

Per WBUR: "Judge/Jury enter. Here we go. #Tsarnaev"

Update at 1:57 p.m. ET. The Charges:

WBUR has a rundownof the 30 charges the jury has made a decision on. Counts one through 10 are punishable by the death penalty, so as the verdict comes down, keep that in mind.

In total, 17 of the charges, from conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction to using a weapon of mass destruction, could carry the death penalty.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.