The U.S. government rested their case against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on Monday, after interviewing 92 witnesses, first-person accounts of the attack and forensic analysis. Tsaranev faces 30 counts and the possibility of the death penalty in 17 of those counts. Federal prosecutors rested their case with grisly testimony about how the bomb Dzhokar Tsarnaev placed near the marathon’s finish line tore through the bodies of Martin Richard and Lingzi Lu, a 23-year-old graduate student.
Several jurors could be seen crying openly in court as the prosecution described Martin Richard’s injuries, the 8-year-old boy who was blown apart by a homemade bomb as he watched the 2013 Boston Marathon with his family. The child’s shredded and bloodied clothes were displayed Monday in court. Boston’s chief medical examiner performed an autopsy and ruled that Martin bled to death after suffering injuries to his torso and extremities. At least six female jurors cried during the testimony and two male jurors had shocked looks on their face. Other jurors simply glanced down at their monitors where the images were published then quickly looked away.
The boy’s parents sat in the courtroom. According to Henry Neilds, Boston Medical Examiner, the bomb severed Martin’s spinal cord and abdominal aorta; severed and exposed his lower intestines; ruptured his stomach; nicked or tore his liver, left kidney and adrenal gland; nearly tore off his left arm at the forearm; snapped a bone in his right leg; fractured and exposed his ribs; and bruised a lung.
Martin suffered third-degree burns on his body along with scrapes, bruises and perforations from blast debris. The most serious injury was his severed aorta, causing him to bleed to death. Earlier in the day a deputy from the ME’s office described the injuries suffered by graduate student Lingzi Lu, Lu’s legs were struck by large shards of metal. The metal and debris including small nails went right through her. She also bled to death from a severed femoral artery and vein. Lindstrom, performed Lu’s autopsy was shown a series of photos and described the injuries as “gaping”, “slashes” and “cavities in the muscle.”
As soon as the prosecution rested their case, the defense filed a motion to acquit Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on all counts, claiming the government failed to introduce evidence sufficient to establish each essential element of the offenses charged beyond a reasonable doubt. To begin their case, Tsarnaev’s defense team admitted his involvement with the bombings. Prosecutors called on police and FBI agents to introduce video and forensic evidence that placed the brothers at the marathon finish line. Backpacks and belongings of the Tsarnaevs were recovered from the Watertown scene and presented in court. Prosecutors argued Tsarnaev had radical jihadi motivations for launching the attack.
Experts testified that Tsarnaev held radical jihadi beliefs which motivated him for carrying out the bombings. His personal electronic devices contained jihadi lectures and the al-Qaeda magazine Inspire. The message scratched into the boat he was hiding in contained several references to jihadi materials. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to 30 counts related to the bombing. His defense has admitted to his role in it, however, and has argued he only took part because he was under the influence of his older brother and alleged co-conspirator Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed in a police shootout three days after the blasts