BOSTON — A federal grand jury on Thursday returned a 30-count indictment against the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, and many of the charges carry the possibility of life in prison or the death penalty.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was indicted on charges including using a weapon of mass destruction and bombing a place of public use, resulting in death.
Three people were killed and more than 260 injured in twin explosions near the finish line of the marathon on April 15. The charges also cover the death of MIT police officer Sean Collier, who authorities say was shot to death in his cruiser by the Tsarnaevs a few days after the bombing.
Tsarnaev’s older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed following a shootout with police on April 19.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured later that day hiding in a boat in a backyard in Watertown, Mass. According to the indictment, he wrote a message on the inside of the boat that said, among other things, “The U.S. Government is killing our innocent civilians,” “I can’t stand to see such evil go unpunished,” and “We Muslims are one body you hurt one you hurt us all.”
The Tsarnaev brothers had roots in the turbulent Russian regions of Dagestan and Chechnya, which have become recruiting grounds for Islamic extremists. They had been living in the United States for about a decade.
Authorities said each of the brothers placed a knapsack containing a shrapnel-packed pressure cooker bomb near the finish line of the 26.2-mile race. The bombs went off within seconds of one another.
The U.S. attorney’s office says 17 of the charges against Tsarnaev could bring life in prison or the death penalty.