In his first public appearance since being arrested on April 19, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev—the man accused of using a weapon of mass destruction in the Boston bombings that killed three people—will appear in court in Boston on Wednesday afternoon.
The 19-year-old faces 30 criminal changes, including killing a police officer. Seventeen of those charges may result in capital punishment, though the death penalty hasn't been applied in Massachusetts in over six decades.
Tsarnaev’s first court appearance was conducted in private at a hospital, where he went after being injured in a shootout with the police in a Boston suburb. His brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed during the shootout, and was the suspected master-mind behind the Boston bombings.
The prosecutors are expecting the Boston courtroom to be at full capacity on Wednesday as people clamor to see the face of the alleged murderer. It's not known exactly who will attend, but prosecutors may have to resort to a lottery in order to determine who gets to sit where.
But some victims are less eager to be part of the proceedings.
Patricia Campbell, the mother of 29-year-old Krystle who died when the first bomb detonated said,“I don’t know if I want to be there."
She added, “It’s not like there’s anything I can do to him.”
Tsarnaev is accused of using weapons of mass destruction at the Boston Marathon, killing three people, and wounding more than 260 others. The bombs were allegedly improvised using pressure cookers and low-explosive powder.
According to the charge sheet, Tsarnaev confessed his motivations via scribbles made on the wall of the boathouse where he was hiding before he was caught by the Boston police. He and his brother were apparently inspired by material downloaded from the internet by Islamic extremists.
‘‘I don’t like killing innocent people,’’ he apparently wrote, adding, ‘‘I can’t stand to see such evil go unpunished...We Muslims are one body, you hurt one you hurt us all.’’
His arraignment begins at 3:30 PM.