The office of the United States Attorney General submitted arguments Wednesday that pertain to the Boston Marathon Bombings case against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, including new documents suggesting that federal officials have evidence to suggest that Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, did not act alone and were aided by the involvement of others. The filings came after the lawyers for Dzhokhar asked the court to disallow comments made by their client. The statement was given to investigators while being questioned during his hospitalization for injuries sustained during a shootout with police, during which Tamerlan was killed after Dzhokhar ran over him with his vehicle. Defense attorneys contend in their motion that Tsarnaev asked for an attorney more than once, but the investigators continued their interrogation.
The prosecution responded to this motion by filing an opposition in the U.S. District Court located in Boston. The prosecution argues that Tsarnaev willingly answered investigators’ questions and that there is no plan to introduce the evidence collected during 11 hours of FBI bedside interviews as part of the main argument against him in court. In addition, they believe that it was necessary to question Tsarnaev out of fear that the brothers had not acted alone, and had they not been captured, they or their accomplices would have continued building or placing bombs to use against the public as they had in the Boston Marathon bombings.
Investigators were led to believe this due to many factors. In the first place, the bombs used were so “sophisticated” that the brothers would have had to have help from others to build them. In addition, searches of all locations linked to the brothers found no trace of the crushed black firework powder that was used in the bombs, which were partly built with fuses constructed from Christmas lights and detonators made of model car parts.
The Tsarnaevs themselves also behaved in a way that suggests that they had help in planning the Boston Marathon bombings, including the use of temporary phones for communication and the planning of a similar attack to take place in New York City. Prosecutors believe that these details indicate that the Tsarnaevs may have been radicalized and trained by others, who would have helped them plan and execute the bombing.
Defending the bedside interviews conducted, the prosecution states that all of the above factors were more than enough justification for the questioning of Tsarnaev while he was in the hospital recovering from not only gunshot wounds, but also from the hours that he hid from police in a boat being stored in a backyard. While hiding in the boat, Tsarnaev wrote a note in which he referred to the involvement of others, writing, “We are promised victory and we shall surely get it,” which further cemented the idea that the Tsarnaevs had not acted alone.
Prosecutors have not filed charges against anyone else for the Boston Marathon bombings. They state in the papers filed today that Tsarnaev confessed to having a role in the bombings and has continued to deny that he had help from any others. Three of his friends, however, have been charged for their actions related to the case. After learning of the blasts, they removed items from Tsarnaev’s dorm room and lied about it to investigators. They have been charged with lying to the FBI and with obstruction of justice.
The defense has not released any statements or filed any response to the prosecution filing made today. The bombing at the Boston Marathon finish line on April 15, 2013, killed three people and injured more than 260.
By Jennifer Pfalz