Boston bombing trial prosecution case ends with victims’ autopsies – USA TODAY
BOSTON — Prosecutors rested their case Monday in the Boston Marathon bombing trial after a morning full of grisly testimony from physicians who conducted autopsies on the youngest victims.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 21, is charged in the April 15, 2013, attack that left three people dead and more than 260 injured. He faces 30 counts, including 17 that could carry the death penalty.
Jurors heard from Katherine Lindstrom, who examined the body of Lingzi Lu, 23, and Henry Nields, who examined Martin Richard, 8.
“The cause of death was blast injuries of torso and extremities,” Nields said. “Overall the injuries would have been painful.”
Several jurors wept as they viewed autopsy photos and Nields described his results, saying he found injuries in every area of Martin’s body: head, neck, torso and extremities. Remains of the skin showed serious, third-degree burns. The boy’s organs, including the spleen, liver and a kidney, were torn apart. Loops of the small intestine were found outside the body.
Inside the body, Nields found a nail, a pellet, a piece of wood and black plastic.
Jurors saw physical evidence from Martin’s medical examination, including a shredded T-shirt. They saw a jagged shard of metal that Nields found in the T-shirt. Nields explained how it got there: It had sliced through the boy’s abdomen and exited through his spine. Martin’s aorta was mostly cut in half.
With that, said Assistant U.S. Attorney William Weinreb, the government rested its case.
Afterward, Tsarnaev‘s defense team filed a motion to acquit him on all counts, arguing that “the government failed to introduce evidence sufficient to establish each essential element of the offenses charged beyond a reasonable doubt,” the Boston Globe reported. Acquittal motions are standard in criminal defense proceedings.
The defense began presenting its case Monday afternoon, the Globe reported, by recalling FBI field photographer Michelle Gamble to the stand. Gamble had testified for the prosecution earlier Monday, focusing on photographs taken on Boylston Street pre-blast, one of them showing a smiling Richard family. The defense questioned her about her role searching other areas, such as the Tsarnaev family home in Cambridge and Tsarnaev’s dorm room at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.