The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

July 11, 2013

Boston bombing suspect's hearing frustrates some

BOSTON — Survivors of the Boston Marathon bombings got little satisfaction from surviving suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's first public appearance since the deadly attacks. "Not guilty," was all he said, over and over.

The blase-looking 19-year-old, his arm in a cast and his face swollen, entered his pleas Wednesday during a seven-minute arraignment in federal court.

Bombing victims showed little reaction in the courtroom after a federal marshal warned them against any outbursts, but some made their views known afterward — as did a group of chanting Tsarnaev supporters.

"I thought that maybe he would come with a different attitude or maybe look a little different, maybe look like he cared a little bit. But he didn't show me that," said Peter Brown, whose two nephews each lost their right legs in the explosions.

Tsarnaev gave a small, lopsided smile to his two sisters upon arriving in the courtroom. He appeared to have a jaw injury and there was swelling around his left eye and cheek.

Leaning into the microphone, he told a federal judge, "Not guilty," in his Russian accent. Then he was led away in handcuffs, making a kissing gesture toward his sisters with his lips. One sobbed loudly, resting her head on a woman seated next to her.

Tsarnaev, who has been hospitalized since his capture with wounds suffered in a shootout and getaway attempt, faces 30 federal charges, including using a weapon of mass destruction to kill, in connection with the April 15 twin explosions that left three people dead and more than 260 wounded. Tsarnaev also is charged in the killing of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer and the carjacking of a motorist during a getaway attempt. He could get the death penalty if prosecutors choose to pursue it.

The proceedings took place in a heavily guarded courtroom packed not only with victims and their families but with police officers, the public and the media.

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