Home / National News / Trial of Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect Gets Underway Wednesday


(BOSTON) — Opening statements are slated to begin Wednesday in the trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is accused in the deaths of three people, including an eight-year-old boy.

Following weeks of jury selection that involved a pool of nearly 1,400 people, a jury was seated Tuesday.

Twelve jurors and six alternates — eight men and ten women — will hear the evidence against Tsarnaev, 21, who prosecutors say with his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, detonated two bombs made from pressure cookers near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013.

In addition to killing three people, the blasts wounded 260 others. Many of the victims were maimed for life, including 16 people who lost limbs.

Afterwards, prosecutors say the brothers went on the run. A few days later, Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed during a gunfight with police after he and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev allegedly executed MIT Police Officer Sean Collier.

Following an intensive manhunt, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was wounded, was captured hiding inside a boat parked in the driveway of Watertown, Massachusetts, resident.

Dzhokhar has pleaded not guilty to the 30 counts against him, including charges of using a “weapon of mass destruction resulting in death.” The most serious of the charges could put him on death row if he’s convicted.

His defense team gave a hint of a potential strategy a year ago when they filed motions to obtain information the attorneys believed would show that between the brothers, Tamerlan was an “all-powerful force who could not be ignored or disobeyed.”

But while prosecutors focus today on Dzhokhar, authorities told ABC News they’re also investigating whether Tamerlan’s wife, Katherine Russell, knew of the deadly plot beforehand.

Russell is suspected of being the woman who accompanied Tsarnaev to a Macy’s in Boston two months before the April 2013 attack where the couple bought five pressure cookers – two of which were allegedly used to make the bombs placed at the marathon finish line. In an affidavit to search the Tsarnaev’s home, FBI agents said they were looking for clothing consistent with those seen on a security video at Macy’s.

Both lawyers for Russell and federal prosecutors declined to answer ABC News questions about Russell’s status, but a senior law enforcement official said she could face charges of misprision of a felony, or failing to notify authorities of a crime about to happen.

Days after Tamerlan was identified as one of the suspected bombers, Russell’s attorney, released a statement saying Russell was assisting the investigation into the bombing and was not aware of the plot beforehand.

“As a mother, a sister, a daughter, a wife, Katie deeply mourns the pain and loss to innocent victims, students, law enforcement officers, families and our community,” the attorney, Miriam Weizenbaum, said then.

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