(BOSTON) — Accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has arrived at a federal courthouse in Boston, according to local and federal officials, making his first public appearance since he was taken into custody, wounded and bleeding after a police firefight in April.
Tsarnaev is scheduled to appear before a judge for a probable cause hearing. He has been charged in a 30-count indictment for allegedly working with his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, to set off a pair of bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon April 15, killing three and injuring more than 260 others. Prosecutors said the pair also murdered an MIT police officer.
Tamerlan was killed in a firefight with police days after the bombing — the same gun battle that Dzhokhar escaped with serious injuries. Dzhokhar was later found bloody and hiding in a boat in a Boston suburb, having allegedly scrawled anti-American messages on the boat’s wall.
His court appearance Wednesday will also be the first time some of the marathon survivors and the families of the victims will be able to face their alleged attacker. Liz Norden, whose sons Paul and JP each lost a leg in the bombing, told ABC News she planned to attend Wednesday to stare down “the face of evil.”
Tsarnaev’s mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, told ABC News on Wednesday that she and her husband will be monitoring the trial from their home in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, a restive region of southern Russia. Zubeidat, who has an open arrest warrant in Massachusetts in connection with a shoplifting charge, said she hoped to travel to the U.S., but only once she has assurances she’ll be able to see her son.
Zubeidat said her daughters, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s sisters, had planned to attend the hearing Wednesday to support their brother.
Tsarnaeva was able to speak at least once by phone with her son, who is recovering from his wounds in prison. According to a recording of the call in late May, which was reported by British Channel 4, Dzhokhar sought to reassure his mother.
“I’m eating and have been for a long time,” he told her, speaking in Russian. “They are giving me chicken and rice. Everything’s fine.”
At the time Zubeidat Tsarnaeva said authorities had promised her monthly calls with her son, but on Wednesday she said she had not spoken with him recently. She continues to insist her sons are innocent. She said she understood the victims’ families would be angry at her son, but only because they do not know he is innocent.
“His fate is in Allah’s hands,” she told ABC News, speaking in Russian.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
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