Survivor Abbott: “Satisfying” to testify in Tsarnaev trial

Heather Abbott arrives at federal court. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

BOSTON, Mass. (WPRI) — Heather Abbott locked eyes with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the man — still a young man — who caused her to lose her leg.

Abbott told a federal jury in Boston Thursday she was catapulted through the entrance of a restaurant when the second bomb exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013.

And Friday, she expressed gratitude to her supporters in a posting to the Facebook page of the Heather Abbott Foundation, set up to help provide prostheses to victims of traumatic injury.

“Thanks for all the support leading up to and following my testimony yesterday,” she said. “So many people have asked me what it was like.

“[Tsarnaev] looked right at me and our eyes met. I’ll never forget what that felt like and I couldn’t be happier that I did it. It was liberating and very satisfying to tell the jury exactly what the man sitting in that court room (sic) did to me.”

The jury is now hearing arguments in the penalty phase of Tsarnaev’s trial, to decide whether he’ll receive the death penalty or life in prison. Prosecutors had asked Abbott to identify for jurors photos of all the victims who had to have at least one leg amputated after the attacks. There were 17 people in all. The prosecution wrapped up its case later in the day Thursday, and defense attorneys will begin their case Monday.

“For me, what’s important isn’t about what lies in his future, it’s about what lies in mine and moving forward,” Abbott’s post ended.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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