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Wednesday 13 November 2019

Jury sees Boston bomb horror photos

The scene of the April 19 2013 gun battle in Watertown, Massachusetts, between police and marathon bombers the Tsarnaev brothers (US Attorney's Office/AP)
The scene of the April 19 2013 gun battle in Watertown, Massachusetts, between police and marathon bombers the Tsarnaev brothers (US Attorney's Office/AP)

The trial of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnev has heard harrowing details and seen horrific pictures of injuries to one of the victims, a 29-year-old woman who bled to death on the pavement.

One juror wept as she and her colleagues studied post-mortem photos and listened to the description of injuries suffered by Krystle Campbell.

The photos were so graphic Judge George O'Toole would not allow them to be shown on public monitors.

Ms Campbell, a restaurant manager, was one of three people killed when twin pressure-cooker bombs exploded near the finish line of the marathon on April 15 2013. More than 260 people were injured, including at least 16 who lost legs.

Tsarnaev's lawyer has admitted during opening statements at his federal death penalty trial that Tsarnaev, now 21, participated in the bombings but said he fell under the influence of his late older brother Tamerlan, whom the defence has portrayed as the mastermind of the attack.

Dr Jennifer Hammers, the medical examiner who performed Ms Campbell's post-mortem examination, said she had injuries all over her body, including gaping wounds to her legs, third-degree burns to her back and numerous wounds from ball bearings and pieces of metal.

"Many of them were very deep, through the whole surface of the skin into the muscle," Dr Hammers said. She said Ms Campbell bled to death, but not immediately.

"Based on those injuries, you would estimate that she could have lived for up to a minute?" assistant US attorney William Weinreb asked. "That's correct," Dr Hammers responded.

On Monday, prosecutors plan to call two other medical examiners to give evidence about the deaths of eight-year-old Martin Richard, a Boston boy who was with his parents, sister and brother at the marathon, and Lingzu Lu, 23, a graduate student at Boston University.

After that, they are expected to rest their case in the first phase of the trial, the guilt phase. The defence will present its case, which is expected to be brief since Tsarnaev's lawyers have admitted his guilt.

During the second phase of the trial, known as the penalty phase, the same jury will decide if Tsarnaev is sentenced to death or spends the rest of his life in prison.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, died days after the attacks when he was wounded during a gun battle with police and run over by Dzhokhar as he escaped. Dzhokhar was found more than 18 hours later, hiding in a boat parked in a garden in Watertown, Massachusetts.

In other evidence, an FBI expert said the pressure-cooker bombs used in the attack were not very difficult to build, using readily-available parts and instructions easily found on the internet.

Edward Knapp, a supervisory special agent with the agency, identified photos of various bomb components found at the scene of the attacks, including hobby fuse, a toggle switch, small Christmas tree bulbs and electronic speed controllers from remote-controlled cars.

PA Media

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