Boston Marathon Bombing Trial: Prosecution Rests – NBCNews.com
BOSTON — The government rested its death penalty case against accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on Monday with graphic testimony about the wounds suffered by a young boy and a graduate student who died in twin blasts at the race’s finish line.
Martin Richard, 8, and Lingzi Lu, 23, both bled to death at the scene, their bodies cut apart by shrapnel from pressure cooker bombs, medical examiners told the jury during the fifteenth day of testimony in U.S. District Court.
The brutal descriptions of the injuries capped four weeks of testimony. Tsarnaev’s defense team began its case soon afterward.
No section of Richard’s body escaped injury, said Henry Nields, Massachusetts’ chief medical examiner.
Lu’s injuries, caused by pellets and nails and other debris blown from a pressure cooker bomb, “would’ve been very painful,” a Boston medical examiner, Katherine Lindstrom, said.
Earlier in the trial, Danling Zhou — a close friend of Lu’s who was severely injured — testified she initially thought her friend was okay. “She is yelling so I know she’s alive,” Zhou said.
Photos submitted by prosecutors showed the friends among the wreckage with their legs intertwined. Lu was lying on the ground, clutching her hands over her face.
Lu, 23, was studying statistics at BU to build on her economics foundation at Beijing Institute of Technology. She planned to be an actuary, reluctantly attending the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, after planning to study that day.
Lindstrom performed the autopsy on Lu. She said the cause of death was “blast injuries to the lower extremities.” A large piece of metal was also found in Lu’s purse, Lindstrom said.
The jury was shown three autopsy images of Lu: the front of her body, the back of her body and a close-up of her lower body.
The defense — while admitting Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s role in placing bombs at the marathon — has tried to portray him as a follower of his older brother Tamerlan, who died in a shootout with police four days after the bombing.
The defense is expected to begin it case following testimony of another medical examiner who performed the autopsy on eight-year-old Martin Richard. Richard’s parents were in the courtroom Monday.
FBI photographer Michelle Gamble followed Lindstrom to the witness stand. Gamble presented photos of the carnage following the bombings as well as photos of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev near his backpack and the Richard family before the bombings.