Friday, April 18, 2014

Boston marathon bombing suspect charged with using weapon of mass destruction

Published:

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev faces the death sentence.

Boston Marathon bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, has been charged by U.S. prosecutors with conspiring to use weapon of mass destruction.

Mr. Tsarnaev, 19, was charged in his hospital room, Monday, as he remains under serious conditions with multiple gunshot wounds. The charge carries a possible death sentence.

He is accused of conspiring with his 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan, who was killed in on Friday while exchanging fire with the police, to set off the twin explosions at last week’s marathon that killed three people and wounded more than 180.

Officials say Mr. Tsarnaev’s condition remained serious but stable at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, where he is unable to speak because of a gunshot wound to the throat.

The White House said on Monday that Mr. Tsarnaev, a naturalized U.S. citizen, would be prosecuted in the federal court system instead of trying him as an enemy combatant in front of a military tribunal. Under the military system, defendants are not afforded some of the usual U.S. constitutional protections.

Under U.S. law, American citizens cannot be tried by military tribunals, White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

As well as a count of using a weapon of mass destruction, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev faces one-count of malicious destruction of property resulting in death, the Department of Justice said in a statement.

In addition to federal charges, prosecutors for the state of Massachusetts, which does not have the death penalty, could file their own.

Also on Monday, a private funeral was held for 29-year-old restaurant worker, Krystle Campbell, who was killed at the marathon finish line after going to watch the race with a friend.

A memorial service was scheduled later for another victim, Lu Lingzi, a 23-year-old graduate student from China.

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