Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon bombings suspect, sat directly across from more than two dozen survivors of the fatal attack on Wednesday as he pleaded not guilty to killing three people and wounding more than 200.
According to CNN, Tsarnaev is charged with 30 federal counts stemming from the April 15 attack which killed three people, including an 8-year-old boy, while a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer was killed three days later at a shootout and chase that eventually led to Tsarnaev's capture.
MIT police reportedly lined up outside the courthouse on Wednesday afternoon to show their solidarity with their fallen comrade, Sean Collier. Inside 30 survivors of the attack watched as Tsarnaev appeared before US Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler.
Wednesday's hearing was the first time Tsarnaev has been seen in public since his arrest. The 19-year-old was reportedly dressed in an orange jail jumpsuit, his hair had grown longer and his left arm was in a cast. Tsarnaev sustained injuries in the police pursuit, during which his brother Tamerlan was killed, and he appeared to have an injury to the left side of his face.
Tsarnaev reportedly peered right at the spectators in the packed courtroom before he entered his plea. To Liz Norden, whose two sons each had a leg amputated after the attacks, he appeared to smirk.
'He did have some family members in the courtroom, so I don't know,' Norden told CNN. 'But to me it was, like, no remorse whatsoever.'
Norden said her sons don't want to talk about that day but she said she had to be in court for them.
'I want to see what happened to my family that day,' she said. 'I watch my boys struggle every day, and it breaks my heart. And I just want to see who or why it happened and who caused it.'
Prosecutors announced that they expect to call between 80 and 100 witnesses in a three- to four-month trial. Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino expressed his confidence this week about getting a conviction. 'We should lock him up and throw away the key,' he told the Boston Herald on Tuesday.
Legal analysts suggest Tsarnaev's lawyers could argue that he was under the 'mesmerizing influence' of Tamerlan, his older brother.
But evidence contradicts that argument. While he hid bleeding in the motorboat the younger Tsarnaev scrawled his motive for his alleged deeds onto the boat's sides.
'The U.S. Government is killing our innocent civilians,' it read. 'I can't stand to see such evil unpunished. We Muslims are one body, you hurt one you hurt us all. Now I don't like killing innocent people it is forbidden in Islam but due to said (unintelligible) it is allowed.'
'Stop killing our innocent people and we will stop.'
Prosecutors will reportedly use the writings to argue intent, that Tsarnaev knew what he was doing.
In May Tsarnaev was reportedly allowed to have a phone conversation with his mother Zubeidat who lives in the Russian republic of Dagestan. She recorded the call and played it back to the news media. She asked her son whether he was in pain.
'No, of course not. I'm already eating and have been for a long time,' Dzhokhar told her. He told her that he was getting much better.
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