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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Convicted In Boston Marathon Bombings

BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was convicted Wednesday afternoon on all 30 counts that he faced in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.

He now faces the possibility of the death penalty.

Tsarnaev, 21, folded his arms, fidgeted and looked down at the defense table as he listened to one guilty verdict after another against him, including conspiracy and use of a weapon of mass destruction. Seventeen of those counts are punishable by death.

Read: The Verdict Count-By-Count

The jury took a day and a half to reach its verdict, which was practically a foregone conclusion, given his lawyer's startling admission during opening statements that Tsarnaev carried out the attack with his now-dead older brother, Tamerlan.


"Today's verdict will never replace the lives that were lost and so dramatically changed, but it is a relief, and one step closer to closure," victim Jeff Bauman said in a statement on Facebook.  Bauman lost both legs in the first of the two explosions on Boylston Street.

Jeff Bauman
Jeff Bauman (WBZ-TV)

"Guilty like we all knew he would be. Great jurors," victim Sydney Corcoran tweeted.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said in a statement he was "thankful" that this phase of the trial is over and he's hoping for "a swift sentencing process."

Read: Reaction From Survivors

In the trial's next phase, which could begin as early as Monday, the jury will hear evidence on whether Tsarnaev should get the death penalty or spend the rest of his life in prison.

"I am glad for the victims' families and the survivors that this phase of the judicial process has come to a close," Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said. "Today's verdict will hopefully give some peace to those affected by the horrific acts of the Defendant."

Boston Marathon Bombings Victims
(Left to right) Martin Richard, 8; Krystle Campbell, 29; Lingzu Lu, 23; MIT Police officer Sean Collier, 26.

The government called 92 witnesses over 15 days, painting a hellish scene of torn-off limbs, blood-spattered pavement, ghastly screams and the smell of sulfur and burned hair.

Related: Ed Davis Reacts To Verdict

Survivors gave heartbreaking testimony about losing legs in the blasts or watching people die. The father of an 8-year-old boy described making the agonizing decision to leave his mortally wounded son so he could get help for their 6-year-old daughter, whose leg had been blown off.

Killed were Lingzi Lu, a 23-year-old Chinese graduate student at Boston University; Krystle Campbell, a 29-year-old restaurant manager; and Martin Richard, the 8-year-old.

MIT police Officer Sean Collier was shot to death at close range days later.

"I applaud the verdict rendered today by the jury in the Marathon bombing case, and I hope this brings some degree of closure to those individuals and their families whose lives were changed forever on that horrific day," Governor Charlie Baker said.


Tsarnaev's lawyers tried repeatedly to get the trial moved out of Boston because of the heavy publicity and the widespread trauma. But opposition to capital punishment is strong in Massachusetts, which abolished its state death penalty in 1984, and some polls have suggested a majority of Bostonians do not want to see Tsarnaev sentenced to die.

During the penalty phase, which could begin as early as Monday, Tsarnaev's lawyers will present so-called mitigating evidence they hope will save his life. That could include evidence about his family, his relationship with his brother, and his childhood in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan and later in the volatile Dagestan region of Russia.

Prosecutors will present so-called aggravating factors in support of the death penalty, including the killing of a child and the targeting of the marathon because of the potential for maximum bloodshed.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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