Boston bombing jury sees gory photos of blast victims

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 30, 2015 7:06 AM

By Scott Malone

BOSTON (Reuters) - The jury in the Boston Marathon bombing trial heard graphic testimony and saw autopsy photos of the second of the three people killed in the April 15, 2013 attack.

Shrapnel from one of the homemade pressure cooker bombs set off by a pair of ethnic Chechen brothers punched through Chinese exchange student Lingzi Lu's legs, causing the 23-year old to bleed to death within minutes, Boston medical examiner Katherine Lindstrom testified on Monday.

"Her injuries were caused by debris hitting her body and going through her body," Boston medical examiner Katherine Lindstrom said. "They would have been very painful."

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 21, is charged with the bombing attack that also injured 264 people, as well as shooting Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier dead three days later as he and his older brother prepared to flee the city.

The brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, died that night after a gunfight with police that ended when Dzhokhar ran him over with a hijacked car.

Federal prosecutors are expected to wrap up their case on Monday, the 15th day of testimony, with accounts of the toll the blasts took on Lu and 8-year-old Martin Richard, the youngest to die in the attack. The jury on Thursday heard testimony on the death of 29-year-old restaurant manager Krystle Campbell.

Defense lawyers opened the trial last month with a blunt admission that Tsarnaev had done everything federal prosecutors accused him of. But they contended he did so out of a sense of subservience to his older brother, rather than his own anger at his adopted country.

By painting Tamerlan as the driving force behind the attacks, the defense aims to spare the younger Tsarnaev a death sentence. Instead, they hope to persuade the jury to determine that he should spend the rest of his life in prison.

The Tsarnaevs came to the United States about a decade before the attack, settling just outside Boston in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

After the prosecution calls its last witness, the defense will have a chance to call its own witnesses, which could include Tsarnaev himself.

But they will be limited in how much evidence they put forward about the relative blame of the two brothers before the jury determines whether their client is guilty of the charges he faces.

If the jury does find him guilty, the trial will enter a penalty phase, when both sides will call another round of witnesses before the same jury determines whether Tsarnaev should be sentenced to death or to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Gunna Dickson and Lisa Von Ahn)