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How strong is the case against Djhokhar Tsarnaev?

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How strong is the case against Djhokhar Tsarnaev?

By Craig Smith. CREATED Apr 22, 2013 - UPDATED: Apr 23, 2013

BOSTON (KGUN9-TV) - Court documents reveal details about exactly how strong the government's case is against Djhokhar Tsarnaev in the Boston terror attacks.

A sworn statement by the FBI is a key to the early charges.

Describing video and photos just after the blast, the FBI agent says a cold blooded attitude gave Dzhokhar Tsarnaev away.
    
He says: "Virtually every head turns to the east...in apparent bewilderment and alarm. Bomber Two...appears calm."
     
Three days later, the FBI says as one of them pulled off a carjacking, he said to the driver:
    
"Did you hear about the Boston explosion?" "I did that."
     
Former Federal Prosecutor, now defense attorney Sean Chapman says the government has powerful evidence.

"...that will probably, most probably result in a conviction in this case even without a confession."
       
Other evidence includes bombs found after a wild shoot out with police. They matched fragments found at the bombing sites--made of "low-grade explosives...pressure cookers...BBs and nails".
        
In a hearing by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's hospital bed, a court reporter noted even though the 19 year old is badly wounded, the "Court is satisfied defendant is alert and able to respond to the charges." 
      
And Tsarnaev will not face those charges as an enemy combatant in a closed, military court.  Sean Chapman thinks because Tsarnaev is a U.S. citizen, civilian courts are the right place for him.

"And by the way, the civilian criminal courts have been extremely efficient and successful in prosecuting people like the underwear bomber and the Times Square bomber involving similar acts of domestic terrorism."
    
But Tsarnaev will have time to heal before his next formal hearing.  It's set more than a month from now.
     
The FBI statement does not mention the murder of MIT police officer Sean Collier. That does not mean he will not get justice. His case would likely be a state charge.

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Web Producer: Laura Kittell

Craig Smith

Craig Smith

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Craig enjoys using innovative writing and visuals to make difficult stories easier to understand. As a newsroom manager at KGUN 9, Craig was part of the team that won three best newscast awards from Arizona Associated Press