Prosecutor: Tsarnaev “Had Murder In His Heart”

The trial of the accused Boston Marathon bomber, 21-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, began on Wednesday. BuzzFeed News’s Mike Hayes is reporting from the courthouse in Boston.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev apprehended in Watertown, Mass. after a four day manhunt following the Boston Marathon bombing in April 2013. Sean Murphy / AP

Nearly two years after the Boston Marathon bombing, the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev begins Wednesday with opening statements.

  • Tsarnaev is accused of killing three people and injuring 260 others during the April 2013 bombing — the worst domestic terrorism attack since 9/11. He is also accused of the murder of M.I.T. police officer Sean Collier. He faces 30 federal charges in total.
  • A jury of 10 women and 8 men (12 jurors, 6 alternates) will decide Tsarnaev’s fate — if convicted, he could face the death penalty. It took over two months to select the jury of a pool of 1,373 people.
  • Tsarnaev’s defense attorneys filed four motions to change the venue, claiming the defendant could not get a fair trial in the city where the bombing occurred. U.S. District Court Judge George O’Toole denied all of Tsarnaev’s change of venue requests, and an appeals court denied two additional attempts by the defense to relocate the trial.
  • Tsarnaev’s lawyers are not expected to argue that he is innocent of all the accused crimes. Instead, the defense will make their case that Tsarnaev acted under the influence of his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, in carrying out the attacks.
  • U.S. vs Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is the most high-profile federal terrorism trial in the United States since Timothy McVeigh was tried for the Oklahoma City bombing in 1997.

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Prosecutor William Weinreb gave the opening statement for the government.

Weinreb: a few hours after the FBI releases pics, #Tsarnaev gets text from friend. “Better not text me, my friend, LOL” #Tsarnaev wrote.

— JimArmstrongWBZ (@Jim Armstrong)

Jury brought in. 10 women, 8 men. All white except for one man. #Tsarnaev

— michaelhayes (@Mike Hayes)

Judge starts off by denying final change of venue motion. Opening statements will begin with the gov’t followed by the defense. #Tsarnaev

— michaelhayes (@Mike Hayes)

#Tsarnaev sits at defense table, starts talking, smiling with attorneys.He’s in a black suit, collared shirt, top couple buttons undone.

— JimArmstrongWBZ (@Jim Armstrong)

First witness will be Tom Grilk executive dir of the BAA which runs the Boston Marathon. #wcvb

— wcvbkelleyt (@Kelley Tuthill)

Survivors in courtroom: Office Dic Donahue, Carlos Arredondo and wife, Heather Abbott, among others.

— JimArmstrongWBZ (@Jim Armstrong)

The family of Martin Richard, the 8 yr old boy, is also here. #tsarnaev

— MiltonValencia (@Milton Valencia)

Prosecutors arrive at courthouse for #Tsarnaev opening statements. Big media presence.

— michaelhayes (@Mike Hayes)

This is a developing story. Check back here and follow BuzzFeed News reporter Mike Hayes on Twitter for updates.

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