SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

July 7, 2014

Prosecutor: Tsarnaev said martyrs go to heaven

BOSTON — Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev texted a friend 90 minutes after the deadly explosions and said, "Don't go thinking it's me," a federal prosecutor told jurors Monday during opening statements at the friend's obstruction trial.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Siegmann also revealed that a month before the bombings, Tsarnaev told the friend, Azamat Tazhayakov, and another pal that "it was good to die" a martyr because you would die "with a smile on your face and go straight to heaven."

Tazhayakov has pleaded not guilty to obstruction of justice and conspiracy charges. He and his roommate, Dias Kadyrbayev, went to Tsarnaev's University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth dorm room several days after the bombing and removed a backpack, fireworks that had been emptied of their black powder and a laptop computer, prosecutors say.

Tazhayakov's defense lawyer told jurors that his client isn't a terrorist and never intended to help Tsarnaev. The attorney, Nicholas Wooldridge, told the jury that Tazhayakov "never even touched that bag" and never agreed to throw it away. He said Kadyrbayev took the backpack and threw it away.

Tsarnaev is accused of working with his now-dead brother to place two bombs near the finish line of the 2013 marathon, killing three people and injured more than 260. His trial is scheduled for November.

Kadyrbayev faces his own trial in September. Investigators said Tazhayakov agreed with the plan to get rid of the backpack but that Kadyrbayev threw it away. A third college friend, Robel Phillipos, is accused of lying to authorities.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

AP Video
Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts
Comments Tracker