NEWS

Boston Bombing Suspect Charged; Could Face Death Penalty

By Holly Gilbert

The U.S. Justice Department announced Monday afternoon that it has charged Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev with using a weapon of mass destruction, which could result in the death penalty. 

According to the Justice Department's press release, "Attorney General Eric Holder announced today that Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, a U.S. citizen and resident of Cambridge, Mass., has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction against persons and property at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, resulting in the death of three people and injuries to more than 200 people."

The Chechnya native has also been charged with “one count of malicious destruction of property by means of an explosive device resulting in death,” according to the statement. The suspect’s appearance before a magistrate was made from his hospital room at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital.

The announcement of the charges comes on the heels of a statement by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney that Tsarnaev won't be tried as an enemy combatant, but will instead be tried in civilian court. At the White House Briefing on Monday, Carney said since Tsarnaev is a naturalized U.S. citizen he, can’t be tried before a military commission, according to CNN.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is the sole surviving suspect of the Boston marathon blasts that killed three and wounded more than 170 others last Monday. His brother and the other suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, died Friday morning in a hospital from his wounds after a shootout with police. The younger Tsarnaev was taken into custody late Friday after being found hiding in a boat, but remains hospitalized with severe wounds.

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