(WASHINGTON) — The mother of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told ABC News she feels “nothing” after prosecutors announced Thursday they would seek the death penalty for her 20-year-old son.
“How can I feel about this? I feel nothing,” Zubeidat Tsarnaeva said in her native Russian. “I can tell you one thing, that I love my son. I will always feel proud of him. And I keep loving him.”
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to 30 charges related to the deaths of three people — including an 8-year-old boy — and the injury of more than 260 others resulting from a dual bombing near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in April 2013, as well as the violent death of an MIT police officer shortly thereafter. Prosecutors say Dzhokhar carried out the crimes with his older brother Tamerlan. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a shootout with police days after the bombing.
In a short statement released Thursday, the Justice Department said that Attorney General Eric Holder authorized the government to seek the death penalty for the younger Tsarnaev and that prosecutors had informed the court of their intent to do so. The statement, from U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, said that the “process by which this decision was made is confidential, and I will not comment further about that process other than to say that it entailed a careful and detailed consideration of the particular facts and circumstances of the case.”
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva previously denied her sons could have been responsible for the bombing and accused the U.S. government of framing them. She also said that when it came to her sons, the younger Dzhokhar would do whatever Tamerlan said and that his word was “law” for the pair.
Just days after the bombing, Zubeidat told ABC News she feared Dzhokhar would get the death penalty, already saying that she has “lost two sons.”
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