Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing, made his first public appearance Thursday morning since his July 2013 arraignment on 30 federal counts. The 21-year-old appeared at federal court in Boston for the final hearing before his trial begins in January.
He said very little, and the judge presiding over the case did not make any rulings, though he did ask Tsaernev basic procedural questions about whether he was aware of the status of the proceedings and satisfied with his lawyers’ performance, USA Today reported. Tsaernev, who has a beard and unkempt dark hair and wore a black sweater and tie, answered both questions in the affirmative in front of a full courthouse, which was under strict security protocols.
The 25-minute appearance offered little drama, aside from a yelled interjection by Elena Teyer, mother-in-law of Ibragim Todashev, a friend of Tsarnaev’s deceased brother, Tamerlan, killed in a shootout with police in the aftermath of the bombing. Todashev allegedly admitted killing three people in Waltham, Massachusetts, with Tamerlan and was shot to death by an FBI agent in Orlando in May 2013.
“Stop killing innocent people,’’ Teyer shouted, according to the Associated Press. “Don’t kill an innocent boy, please!’’
Jury selection in the case will get underway Jan. 5, and the trial is expected to take several months, according to NBC News. The April 15, 2013, Boston bombing killed three people and injured more than 260 at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The terror attack shocked the nation and sent law enforcement authorities on a manhunt that saw entire neighborhoods locked down and officers going to door-to-door searching homes. They eventually found Tsarnaev hiding in a boat in a yard in Watertown, Massachusetts, on April 20, 2013.
Americans expressed great anger at the Tsarnaev brothers upon Dzhokhar’s arrest, and he was catapulted to infamy, with thousands of articles written about him and the plot, including a controversial Rolling Stone cover story called “The Bomber.”