Prosecution case in Boston bombing trial enters home stretch

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 16, 2015 9:10 AM

BOSTON (Reuters) - The Boston Marathon bombing trial on Monday is due to turn to defendant Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's final day before being arrested, when he was found hiding in a drydocked boat at the end of a massive police manhunt.

Tsarnaev, 21, is accused of killing three people and injuring 264 with a pair of homemade pressure-cooker bombs at the race's crowded finish line on April 15, 2013, as well as fatally shooting a police officer three days later.

His attorneys have admitted that Tsarnaev committed the crimes he is accused of, but contend the plot was driven by his older brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan, in a bid to spare their client the death sentence that he may face if convicted at the end of a trial in U.S. District Court in Boston.

The elder Tsarnaev died hours after the two are accused of shooting the police officer, following a gunfight with police that ended when Dzhokhar Tsarnaev sped off in a car, running over and killing Tamerlan.

This week's testimony is expected to focus on the chaotic hours that followed that gunfight, when hundreds of thousands of residents of the greater Boston area were ordered to shelter in their homes as police hunted for Tsarnaev, who was found the evening of April 19, 2013, hiding in a boat drydocked in a backyard in the suburb of Watertown.

The bombing killed restaurant manager Krystle Campbell, 29, and graduate student Lingzi Lu, 23, as well as 8-year-old Martin Richard. Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier, 27, was shot dead three days later.

(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Bernadette Baum)