Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to 30 counts including use of a weapon of mass destruction to kill.
Not only will Tsarnaev face the glare of the public eye, but he will be forced to confront the families of his victims including relatives of an 8-year-old boy who died.
Nineteen-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has not been seen publicly since the dramatic shootout on April 18 with police in Watertown, Massachusetts.
His older brother, Tamerlan, died in the gunfight.
In court, Tsarnaev faced 30 charges, 17 of which could potentially earn the teenager the death penalty.
This includes the murder of three people as well as “maiming, burning, and wounding scores of others,” said US Attorney Carmen Ortiz.
ABC News reported the following:
“Dzhokhar is accused of working with his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, to set off a pair of bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon April 15, killing three and injuring more than 260 others. Prosecutors said the pair also murdered an MIT police officer.”
MSN News reported that four hours before the hearing on Wednesday, Tsarnaev arrived at the courthouse in a four-vehicle motorcade that included a van, a Humvee and a state police car.
“A group of about a dozen Tsarnaev supporters cheered as the motorcade arrived. The demonstrators yelled ‘Justice for Jahar,’ as Tsarnaev is known. One woman held a sign that said, ‘Free Jahar.’”
Prosecutors say Tsarnaev, a Muslim, wrote about his motivations for the bombing on the inside walls and beams of the boat where he was hiding.
He wrote the U.S. government was “killing our innocent civilians.”
“I don’t like killing innocent people,” he said, but also wrote: “I can’t stand to see such evil go unpunished. … We Muslims are one body, you hurt one you hurt us all.”
ABC News reported that there was a massive security presence from local police to federal agents at the court house and the surrounding area. State Police divers searched the perimeter of the waterfront nearby and a Boston Police Harbor Unit boat patrolled the waters.