Tsarnaev trial brings heavy security, media presence

Media take positions outside the federal courthouse in Boston, Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, for the first day of jury selection in the trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

BOSTON (WPRI) — Jury selection began Monday in the trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and it brought a busy scene to Courthouse Way.

Media from around the country and the world gathered outside federal court in Boston for a trial that’s been talked about for more than a year.

People who work nearby said it’s a scene they haven’t seen since the trial of mobster Whitey Bulger back in 2013.

With the attack on the Boston Marathon so fresh in people’s minds and many victims expected to attend and even testify – the trial will no doubt be emotionally charged.

Even though it was relatively calm outside the courthouse on Monday, security was tight. Police officers – both in uniform and undercover – bomb-sniffing dogs, and homeland security could all be seen braving the cold to ensure the safety of all those involved.

Photos: Key players in the Tsarnaev trial >>
Photos: Key players in the Tsarnaev trial >>

Also standing in the sub-freezing temperatures was Bill Hooker of East Bridgewater, whose friend’s wife was inside the courthouse as a potential juror in the case. He said her strong opinions may prevent her from actually serving, but he believes the trial could bring some closure to the city and those that were affected.

“The sooner the better. Get it over with and put him away,” said Hooker. “This is going to help all the people who were injured in the marathon itself, absolutely.”

Unlike Tsarnaev’s pretrial hearing, there were no victims and very few protesters outside court on Monday, however that’s expected to change once the actual trial gets underway. Many victims will be taking the stand and others will be in attendance to offer support, such as Newport native Heather Abbott.

Jury selection in the high-profile trial is expected to take several weeks, with opening statements scheduled for Jan. 26.

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