Jurors have found Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty on all 30 counts relating to the 2013 Boston marathon attacks, including conspiracy of using a WMD. They will now decide if he will be punished by death.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found guilty by a 12-member jury panel of using weapons of mass destruction resulting in death and conspiracy, all offenses punishable by death. The jury announced its verdict on Wednesday after over 11 hours of deliberations.
As the jury foreman read the each guilty verdict, Tsarnaev fidgeted and looked down at the defense table as he listened to all 30 counts.
The jury will now decide whether the 21-year-old should be sentenced to death or receive life imprisonment.
Tsarnaev was found guilty of setting off homemade pressure cooker bombs at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, which killed three people and injured over 260 others.
Tsarnaev, who admitted his role in the bombing, the worst attack in the US since the 9/11 al Qaeda hijackings, faced 30 separate counts in the federal death penalty trial relating to the bombing. Seventeen of the 30 counts make him eligible for the death penalty.
Tsarnaev's lawyers maintain that he participated in the 2013 bombings, but say his now-dead older brother, Tamerlan, was the mastermind behind the attack.
Tamerlan died following a shootout with police in Watertown, Massachusetts, and was run over by his brother during a chaotic getaway attempt days after the bombing. A seriously injured Dzhokhar was captured hours later by authorities as he hid in a dry-docked boat.
Several victims were in the courtroom Wednesday as the verdict was read, including the Richard family, whose 8-year-old son Martin, was killed when the bombs detonated.
Following the verdict, bombing survivor Karen Brassard spoke to awaiting media outside the courtroom saying she was happy the first phase of the trial was over, and was keen to get sentencing submissions underway.
Brassard called the defendant "arrogant," adding she did not buy the defence's argument Dzhokhar's brother was the mastermind behind the attack.
Court heard witness testimony
US District Judge George O'Toole Jr. and the jury heard testimony from witnesses and survivors during the 17-day trial.
Officer Frank Chiola described the death of 29-year-old Krystle Campbell on the day of the bomb, to whom he had administered CPR to no avail.
One of the witnesses, Jeff Bauman, told the court how he had seen one of the suspects just before the bombs went off. "He just looked very suspicious. He didn't look like anybody that was there. He wasn't having fun, he wasn't watching the race." Bauman lost both his legs in an explosion.
"The last thing I did see was Martin Richard on the sidewalk, there were two people trying to revive him still, but I could see his eyes clearly and I didn't think he was alive," said Alan Hern, a high school football coach, who saw the youngest of the victims, an eight-year-old boy, killed that day.
The trial was split into two phases - one phase to decide guilt and the other to decide sentencing.
During the second phase, or penalty phase, of the trial Tsarnaev's legal team will present mitigating evidence they hope will spare him from the death penalty. That evidence is expected to include evidence about his ethnic Chechen family, his relationship with his brother Tamerlan, and his childhood in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan.
jlw/kms (Reuters, AP)