A federal jury found Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty on all 30 charges for his role in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing that killed three and injured more than 260 people, including Krystle Campbell, Lingzi Lu, 8-year-old Martin Richard, and MIT police officer Sean Collier.
The jury, composed of seven women and five men, will decide his punishment in the sentencing phase, which could begin next week. The same jury will decide if Tsarnaev, 21, will get life in prison or the death penalty.
Tsarnaev was found guilty of a slew of charges including conspiracy, use of a weapon of mass destruction, possession and use of a firearm, and carjacking. Prosecutors claimed that the crimes were inspired by Al-Qaeda. He was captured after a three day search. His older brother Tamerlan was killed during the Watertown shootout when he was unintentionally run over by his younger brother.
The verdict was the first time Tsarnaev was held legally responsible for the crimes. Tsarnaev’s defense team admitted his involvement in the bombings during opening statements of the trial, but entered not-guilty pleas. His attorney, Judy Clarke, did not deny her client’s role in the attack but tried to show that Dzhokhar was just following his older brother. However, the jury didn’t buy it.
Bill Richard, Martin’s father, was one of several victims’ relatives in the courtroom.
“Today’s verdict will never replace the lives that were lost and so dramatically changed,” said Jeff Bauman, who lost both legs in the blast, in a Facebook post. “But it is a relief, and one step closer to closure.”