Not guilty, pleads Boston bombing suspect

The 19-year-old Tsarnaev, making his first court appearance on Wednesday, entered the federal courtroom in Boston in handcuffs, shackles and wearing an orange jumpsuit.

"Not guilty," the 19-year-old Chechnya-born US citizen, said repeatedly as the 30 counts were read out at the arraignment, which lasted seven minutes.

The room was packed with emotional victims of the bombings at the Boston Marathon finish line, some of whom needed canes to walk.

Also in court were many journalists and a few people who identified themselves as friends of Tsarnaev, who is accused of carrying out the attacks, which left three people dead and more than 260 wounded.

Peter Payack, Tsarnaev's high school wrestling coach, was one of the first of many people turned away from the courtroom after members of the media and the public lined up hours prior in hopes of attending the hearing. He and scores of others resigned themselves to watching the arraignment on screens placed in two overflow rooms.


Tsarnaev had been a decorated athlete and wrestling team captain when he finished school two years ago.

"I wanted him to see me," the disappointed Payack, a dedicated marathon runner, said. "I was feeling that if there was any spark of humanity left in him that maybe – if he saw his old wrestling family – he would make a connection."

Seventeen of the counts against Tsarnaev are punishable by the death penalty or life imprisonment.

The attacks stunned America with scenes of carnage and chaos at one of the country's premier sporting events.

The bombs were packed with metal fragments to cause maximum damage, and several people lost one or more limbs.

Tsarnaev is accused of plotting and carrying out the attacks with his 26-year-old brother Tamerlan, who died in a shootout with police as the pair tried to escape the Boston area several days later.

He is also charged in connection with the shooting death of a campus police officer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology during the brothers' wild overnight getaway attempt. – AFP

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Boston Bomber: I am sorry for the lives I have taken

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has publicly expressed remorse for the first time since he executed the 2013 Boston marathon bombings.

Jury’s next decision: Life or death for Boston bomber?

A US jury unanimously convicted Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and found him guilty on all 30 counts related to the 2013 Boston bombings attacks.

2014 Boston Marathon kicks off under tight security

Security has been beefed up at the 2014 Boston Marathon, a year after the bombings that killed three people and injured hundred others.

Michelle Obama picks disaster heroes, gay athlete as speech guests

The White House has filled Michelle Obama's seating area at the State of the Union address with people who represent issues important to her.

‘Rolling Stone’ bombs out over Boston suspect cover

Boston officials have reacted with anger to an upcoming cover of "Rolling Stone" magazine featuring accused marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Boston bombings: Tsarnaev faces first court appearance

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, suspected of the April Boston attacks that killed three people, is to appear in court for the first time following his arrest.
Advertising

Subscribers only

Toxic power struggle hits public works

With infighting and allegations of corruption and poor planning, the department’s top management looks like a scene from ‘Survivor’

Free State branches gun for Ace

Parts of the provincial ANC will target their former premier, Magashule, and the Free State PEC in a rolling mass action campaign

More top stories

Why anti-corruption campaigns are bad for democracy

Such campaigns can draw attention to the widespread presence of the very behaviour they are trying to stamp out — and subconsciously encourage people to view it as appropriate

Tax, wage bill, debt, pandemic: Mboweni’s tightrope budget policy statement

The finance minister has to close the jaws of the hippo and he’s likely to do this by tightening the country’s belt, again.

SA justice delays extradition of paedophile to UK

Efforts to bring Lee Nigel Tucker to justice have spanned 16 years and his alleged victims have waited for 30 years

Former state security minister Bongo back in court

Bongo and his co-accused will appear in the Nelspruit magistrate’s court in Mpumalanga over charges of fraud, corruption and theft
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday