BOSTON, Ma. -- A federal grand jury in Boston has returned a 30-count indictment
against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, charging him with three deaths in the April
15 Boston Marathon bombings and the killing of a campus police officer
three days later.
The 19-year-old Cambridge, Mass., student is
also charged with using a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death
and the use of a firearm resulting in death.
Tsarnaev, who faces a possible death sentence if convicted, is scheduled to be arraigned July 10.
Federal authorities were expected to make a formal announcement of the charges at 3 p.m. Thursday in Boston.
indictment alleges that for three months beginning in February,
Tsarnaev conspired with his 27-year-old brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, in
the use of improvised explosives -- made of pressure cookers, black
powder and shrapnel -- near the crowded finish line of annual race.
The explosions, only seconds apart, killed three people and injured more than 200 others.
days later, after the FBI had released photos of the two suspects, the
brothers allegedly drove to the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology armed with five explosive devices, a semi-automatic handgun,
a machete and hunting knife.
They allegedly shot and killed
campus officer Sean Collier there and tried to steal his service weapon,
according to the indictment.
Hours later, Tamerlan Tsarnaev died
during a confrontation with police, while Dzhokhar, who was injured,
fled the scene in a car.
He was captured early the next morning while hiding in a boat in the
backyard of a local resident in the Boston suburb of Watertown.
According to court documents, authorities later found a series of messages scrawled on the inside wall and beams of the boat:
U.S. government is killing our innocent civilians...I can't stand to see
such evil go unpunished... We Muslims are one body, you hurt one you hurt
us all... Now I don't like killing innocent people it is forbidden in
Islam but due to said (unintelligible word) it is allowed... Stop killing
our innocent people and we will stop.'
brothers had roots in the turbulent Russian regions of Dagestan and
Chechnya, which have become recruiting grounds for Islamic extremists.
They had been living in the United States for about a decade.
Dzhokhar has been held at a prison medical center outside Boston. Tamerlan was secretly buried in a rural Virginia cemetery.
Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY