Now that Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev is in custody, the federal case against him is moving swiftly. Although he remains in serious condition at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, he was handed charges Monday of use of a weapon of mass destruction and malicious destruction of property resulting in death.
Both charges were unsealed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts and Tsarnaev’s first court appearance took place before a federal magistrate from his hospital bed. If convicted, he may face the death penalty, according to a Justice Department statement.
An affidavit accuses Tsarnev, 19, and his older brother Tamerlan, who was killed in a shootout with police, of leaving improvised explosive devices in backpacks in strategic places near the finish line of the marathon. It also describes their actions, which were caught on surveillance cameras, just before the bombs exploded. Officials are continuing to glean as much information as possible from Tsarnaev on the plot, how he and his brother allegedly executed their plan, but have not yet revealed anything he has said.
“While we will not be able to comment on any possible communications between the suspect and law enforcement at this time, as a general rule, the government will always seek to elicit all the actionable intelligence and information we can from terrorist suspects taken into our custody,” U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts. Carmen Ortiz, said in a statement.
But, the criminal complaint also describes the carjacking ordeal in which one of the alleged bombers brags to the victim about the attack, telling him “I did that” before showing him a gun magazine with a bullet in it.
A public safety officer at Massachussetts Institute of Technology was killed during the manhunt for the two brothers, but it is currently unclear if the surviving Tsarnaev will face state murder charges in that shooting death.
Read the federal charges against Dzhokar Tsarnaev below: