Family members of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Chechen national convicted in the Boston Marathon bombing case, arrived in the U.S. on Thursday as prosecutors seeking a death penalty for him rested their case. The bombing, which took place on April 15, 2013, led to the deaths of three people and wounded over 260 others.
Among the relatives who came to the U.S., Tsarnaev's mother, Zubeidat, was not present, as she has a pending warrant for local shoplifting and could have been arrested at customs had she tried to enter the country. It was not clear if the 21-year-old's relatives would testify in the case to defend him, NBC News reported.
“They’ll probably talk about what happened when both parents went back to Russia, they’ll probably talk about the older brother being somewhat domineering,” Professor Robert Bloom of Boston College Law School, said, according to CBS News.
The prosecutors concluded the trial after calling 17 witnesses over a period of three days. During Thursday's trial, they also showed photos of the survivors, who were badly injured in the bombing, in hopes that the judge would hand down a death penalty to Tsarnaev.
“I heard ‘please’ and ‘Martin’ being uttered by Denise Richard, many times. ... I didn’t see any response,” Steve Woolfenden, a young father, whose leg was severed while trying to save his 3-year-old son Leo, said, according to the New York Times, referring to Martin Richard, a toddler who was killed in the bombing and his mother, Denise Richard.
“I saw his hair had been singed,” Woolfenden told the jury, according to the Times, adding: “I saw that his eyes were rolled in the back of his head and his mouth was agape ... an immense amount of blood.”
Earlier this month, the jury found Tsarnaev guilty of 30 charges, including killing an officer of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's police department.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Justice released the first photo of Tsarnaev in a holding cell, since his arrest in April 2013, showing him flipping off a security camera.