Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed, but Dzhokhar escaped on foot, leading to an unprecedented lockdown of Greater Boston. Dzhokhar, wounded from gunfire, was found later that day hiding in a dry-docked boat in a backyard.
Authorities said Dzhokhar wrote in pen on the inside wall of the boat explaining that the bombing was meant to punish America for its actions overseas.
“The U.S. Government is killing our innocent civilians,” authorities say he wrote, and “Stop killing our innocent people and we will stop.”
A federal grand jury continued to investigate months after Dzhokhar was arrested.
The parents and sisters of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s widow, Katherine Russell, were called to testify. Russell has a 3-year-old daughter with Tsarnaev.
Russell’s lawyer, Amato DeLuca, said that she did not suspect her husband of anything and that nothing seemed amiss in the days after the bombing. He said Russell was told last year she was not a target of the investigation.
“It really saddens me to think the people, obviously innocent victims, are going to carry the wounds from this craziness the rest of their life,” DeLuca said. “That includes Katie and her daughter.”
People who knew Dzhokhar say they still struggle to reconcile the seemingly Americanized young man they knew with the one accused of planting the bomb that killed Martin Richard, 8, and Lu Lingzi, 23, a Boston University graduate student from China. The first bomb, allegedly planted by Tamerlan, killed Krystle Campbell, 29.
Luis Vasquez, who helped coach Dzhokhar’s soccer team in high school, said both brothers appeared to be good people when he knew them. The death penalty, he said, would be the easy way out.
“That event should eat at him,” Vasquez said. “If we kill him, he will take those answers with him.”