Jury in Boston bombing trial sees photos of writing in boat
BOSTON -- Jurors in the trial of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on Tuesday saw photographs of a blood-stained, hand-scrawled note speckled with bullet holes inside the boat he was captured in days after the deadly 2013 attack.
Prosecutors consider the note a confession and say it refers to the motive for the attack carried out by Tsarnaev and his late brother, Tamerlan.
In the note, written in pencil on the walls of the boat, Tsarnaev appears to decry U.S. actions in Muslim countries and says he is jealous of his brother because he is dead and now in paradise.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, died following a violent confrontation with police during a getaway attempt four days after the bombings. Dzhokzar, then 19, was found hiding in a boat parked in a yard in Watertown.
"I do not mourn because his soul is very much alive. God has a plan for each person. Mine was to hide in this boat and shed some light on our actions," he wrote.
The note also said: "The U.S. Government is killing our innocent civilians but most of you already know that. As a M (bullet hole) I can't stand to see such evil go unpunished, we Muslims are one body, you hurt one you hurt us all. ..."
"Now I don't like killing innocent people it is forbidden in Islam but due to said (bullet hole) it is allowed."
Judge George O'Toole Jr. is still trying to decide whether to allow prosecutors to cut out and bring to court the panels of the boat to show jurors or whether to bring the intact boat to the courthouse to be viewed outside by the jury, as requested by the defense.
The judge ended court early Tuesday so he could see the boat, accompanied by representatives of the prosecution and defense.
Three people were killed and more than 260 were injured April 15, 2013, when two bombs exploded near the marathon finish line.
During opening statements at his trial, Tsarnaev's lawyer admitted he participated in the bombings but said Tamerlan Tsarnaev was the mastermind.
Todd Brown, a Boston police bomb technician, testified that he saw the writing when he was sent to check the boat to make sure no explosives or booby traps were on board.
During cross-examination, Tsarnaev's lawyers established that all the bullet holes were from shots coming into the boat when police fired. The officer said no bombs, guns or weapons were found inside the boat.
An FBI agent who examined two Twitter accounts of Tsarnaev's continued his testimony Tuesday. Steve Kimball testified Monday that an account Tsarnaev created about a month before the bombings contained religious messages, including: "It's our responsibility my brothers & sisters to ask Allah to ease the hardships of the oppressed and give us victory over ... islam."
During cross-examination Tuesday, Tsarnaev attorney Miriam Conrad said a photo on the home page of that Twitter account was of Grozny, Chechnya, not of the Muslim holy city of Mecca, as Kimball had testified Monday.
Tsarnaev, now 21, is an ethnic Chechen who moved to the U.S. with his family about a decade before the bombings.
Kimball also acknowledged that many of Tsarnaev's tweets from his other, more prolific account were about girls, cars, studying and sleeping.
"I wanna study a broad or two," reads one tweet from March 2013.
Several FBI agents also testified Tuesday about the collection of bomb components and other evidence from the scene of the blasts. One agent said shrapnel from the two pressure-cooker bombs was found on the ground, inside buildings and on the rooftops of buildings, including a four-story hotel.
Copyright 2015 by The Associated Press
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