Criminal Justice

Boston Marathon bombing suspect pleads not guilty to 30 charges

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Updated: Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pleaded not guilty to using weapons of mass destruction and 29 other counts related to the April bombing that left three dead and hundreds injured.

This was the first court appearance for the 19-year-old, who repeatedly spoke “not guilty” to charges in a sweeping indictment, the Boston Globe reports.

The Globe reported the Tsarnaev’s lawyer Judy Clarke tried to enter pleas on his behalf. But U.S. Magistrate Judge Marianne B. Bowler ordered Tsarnaev to answer on his own. The judge also invited any of the 30 victims, some wearing Boston Marathon gear, to speak, but none did.

Tsarnaev is accused of working with his brother to create homemade pressure-cooker bombs. The brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev died in a confrontation with police. He’s also charged in the fatal shooting of a university police officer.

Tsarnaev was escorted to court Wednesday by heavily armed personnel. The Boston Globe has updated and comprehensive coverage of the bombing, victims and proceedings.

A legal expert quoted by the Chicago Tribune said the biggest challenge for Tsarnaev’s attorney, public defender Miriam Conrad, will be sparing Tsarnaev the death penalty.

“I suspect that Miriam will start tomorrow by trying to change his image and make him look like the normal, average, clean-cut young kid,” Walter Prince, a former federal prosecutor in Boston, is quoted as saying.

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