Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was charged in the Boston Marathon bombings on Monday in a sealed complaint. The charges came during his initial court appearance, which was conducted in his hospital room by a federal magistrate.
The announcement was made by Gary H. Wente, circuit executive for the US courts of the First Circuit and came shortly after White House spokesman Jay Carney announced that Tsarnaev would be tried in the federal court system.
Shortly after the announcement of charges against Tsarnaev, the US Attorney of Massachusetts sent out a tweet, saying:
“Dzhokhar Tsarnaev charged with conspiring to use weapon of mass destruction against persons and property in U.S. resulting in death.”
Officials reported on Sunday evening that the 19-year-old Boston bombing suspect was awake and answering questions in writing. Tsarnaev is apparently unable to speak, because of a throat injury that may have been self inflicted.
He also suffered a gunshot wound to the leg during one of two firefights with the cops early Friday morning or evening. Along with being charged, a law enforcement source stated that the US Marshals Service has taken custody of the teenager at the hospital.
Dzhokhar and his older brother, Tamerlan, 26, allegedly plotted and carried out the twin bombings during the Boston Marathon that killed three people and wounded more than 200 more. Tamerlan was killed during a gun battle with police early Friday in Watertown, Massachusetts.
The younger Tsarnaev fled the scene and eluded police during a daylong manhunt in which Boston and its suburbs were shut down. He was spotted by a resident hiding inside a boat on Friday afternoon. After a brief standoff, the teen was taken into custody. Since then, the suspected Boston bomber has been under heavy guard at a Boston hospital.
Along with the charge of using a weapon of mass destruction, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was also charged with one count of malicious destruction of property by means of an explosive device resulting in death. The charges authorize a “penalty of death or imprisonment for life or any term of years.”
Attorney General Eric Holder added of the charges, “Although our investigation is ongoing, today’s charges bring a successful end to a tragic week for the city of Boston, and for our country.”
While Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been charged in the Boston Marathon bombings, it is unclear when he will be well enough to stand trial. The District Attorney’s office has already announced it will represent him in the case.
[Image via Boston Globe]