(BOSTON) — Accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pleaded not guilty Wednesday to all 30 counts against him as he made his first public appearance since he was taken into custody, wounded and bleeding after a police firefight in April.
Tsarnaev appeared before a federal judge in Boston Wednesday afternoon for a brief probable cause hearing. He’s been charged in a 30-count indictment for allegedly working with his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, to set off a pair of bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon April 15, killing three and injuring more than 260 others. Prosecutors said the pair also murdered an MIT police officer.
Tamerlan was killed in a firefight with police days after the bombing — the same gun battle that Dzhokhar escaped with serious injuries. Dzhokhar was later found bloody and hiding in a boat in a Boston suburb, having allegedly scrawled anti-American messages on the boat’s hull.
Both the families of some of the bombing victims and supporters of Dzhokhar’s, including his two sisters, attended the hearing. Top law enforcement officials in Boston also attended.
Liz Norden, whose sons Paul and JP each lost a leg in the bombing, told ABC News Tuesday she planned to attend today to stare down “the face of evil.”
Dzhokhar’s mother, Zubeidate Tsarnaeva, told ABC News that anyone angry with her son is only angry because they do not know he is innocent. One supporter of Dzhokhar’s said before the hearing that he believed Dzhokhar was framed.
Zubeidat said that she and her husband will be monitoring the trial from their home in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, a restive region of southern Russia. Zubeidat, who has an open arrest warrant in Massachusetts in connection with a shoplifting charge, said she hoped to travel to the U.S., but only once she has assurances she’ll be able to see her son.
“His fate is in Allah’s hands,” she told ABC News before the hearing, speaking in Russian.
There was a massive security presence from local police to federal agents at the courthouse and in the surrounding area. State police divers searched the perimeter of the waterfront nearby and a Boston Police Harbor Unit boat patrolled the waters.
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