Sunday 17 November 2019

Boston Marathon blast suspect told he's a coward by survivor

A court artist’s sketch of Rebekah Gregory, who told Dzhokhar Tsarnaev he was a coward in an open letter. Photo: REUTERS/Jane Flavell Collins
A court artist’s sketch of Rebekah Gregory, who told Dzhokhar Tsarnaev he was a coward in an open letter. Photo: REUTERS/Jane Flavell Collins

Raf Sanchez

A mother who lost her leg in the Boston Marathon bombing has written an open letter to the alleged bomber after coming face-to-face with him for the first time in court.

Rebekah Gregory told Dzhokhar Tsarnaev that after seeing him in the flesh, he had gone from the face of her nightmares to "a little boy who wouldn't even look me in the eyes".

The 27-year-old, who has a prosthetic left leg after her own was torn off in the blast, faced the defendant from the witness box as she told of the horror of being caught in the blast along with her five-year-old son Noah.

After her testimony, she posted a letter on Facebook addressed to Tsarnaev, who may face the death penalty if convicted.

"We don't really know each other and never will. But over the last two years, I have seen your face not only in pictures, but in almost every one of my nightmares." She wrote how "all that changed" as she walked past Tsarnaev in the courtroom.

"You are a coward. A little boy who wouldn't even look me in the eyes to see that. Because you can't handle the fact that what you tried to destroy, you only made stronger."

She ended on a triumphant note, signing her letter: "Someone you shouldn't have messed with #bostonstrong".

"So now...while you are sitting in solitary confinement, (awaiting the verdict on your life), I will be actually ENJOYING everything this beautiful world has to offer. And guess what else? I will do so without fear....of YOU. Because now to me you're a nobody, and it is official that you have lost. So man that really sucks for you bro. I truly hope it was worth it."

Death penalty

The 21-year-old defendant, who may face the death penalty if convicted, is only able to see what his lawyers show him and is unlikely to read Ms Gregory's letter. The court also heard from Jeffrey Bauman, who lost both legs in the attack.

Mr Bauman described how moments before the blast, he came face-to-face with Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the defendant's older brother. "He didn't look like everybody that was there. He was alone, he wasn't watching the race," Mr Bauman said.

After the first bomb detonated at the marathon finish line, Mr Bauman said he "looked down and saw my legs and it was just carnage. I could see my bones and my flesh sticking out."

Tamerlan Tsarnaev (21) was killed by police days later. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev faces 30 federal terrorism charges. (© Daily Telegraph London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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