Jurors end 1st day of deliberations in marathon bombing case

In this courtroom sketch, Assistant U.S. Attorney Aloke Chakravarty is depicted pointing to defendant Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, right, during closing arguments in Tsarnaev's federal death penalty trial Monday, April 6, 2015, in Boston. Tsarnaev is charged with conspiring with his brother to place two bombs near the Boston Marathon finish line in April 2013, killing three and injuring 260 people. (AP Photo/Jane Flavell Collins)

BOSTON (AP) — Jurors in the trial of admitted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev deliberated for a little more than seven hours Tuesday before ending their first day of deliberations without reaching a verdict.

Judge George O’Toole Jr. dismissed the jury at about 4:40 p.m. after telling the panel of seven women and five men, “It’s time to call it a day.”

The judge said jurors sent him two notes containing questions shortly before the day’s end. He did not publicly share the contents of the notes but told the jurors he would answer their questions Wednesday morning. Prosecutors and Tsarnaev’s lawyers declined to reveal the contents of the notes.

Jurors are considering 30 charges against Tsarnaev stemming from the 2013 attack that killed three people and wounded more than 260. If they convict him, they will then decide during a second phase of the trial whether he should be sentenced to death or receive life in prison. Seventeen of the charges carry the possibility of the death penalty.

During both opening statements and closing arguments, Tsarnaev’s lawyers admitted he participated in the bombings but said his now-dead older brother, Tamerlan, was the driving force behind the attack.

During closings Monday, Tsarnaev lawyers agreed with prosecutors that Tsarnaev conspired with his brother to bomb the marathon and planted one of two pressure-cooker bombs that exploded near the finish line on April 15, 2013.

But the defense said it was Tamerlan Tsarnaev who was the mastermind of the attack. It was Tamerlan who bought the bomb parts, built the bombs and planned the attack, defense attorney Judy Clarke said.

“If not for Tamerlan, it would not have happened,” Clarke said.

A prosecutor told the jury that Tsarnaev made a cold-blooded decision aimed at punishing America for its wars in Muslim countries.

“This was a cold, calculated terrorist act. This was intentional. It was bloodthirsty. It was to make a point,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Aloke Chakravarty said. “It was to tell America that: ‘We will not be terrorized by you anymore. We will terrorize you.'”

Deliberations were scheduled to resume Wednesday.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s