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'Pure Carnage' Recalled at Boston Marathon Trial

  • VOA News

A survivor of the deadly 2013 Boston Marathon bombings Thursday described the moments after the attack as "pure carnage."

Race spectator Jeff Bauman, who lost both legs in the explosions near the finish line of the race, testified on the second day of the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in a Boston courthouse.

Bauman hobbled to the witness stand on prosthetic legs, then told the jury that he bumped into Tsarnaev's older brother Tamerlan along the race course moments before the blasts killed three people and injured another 264.

Defense lawyers sought Thursday to limit graphic testimony of the bombing victims, but Judge George O'Toole ruled the jury should hear witness descriptions of the aftermath of the attack.

Prosecutors allege the Tsarnaevs were trying to avenge U.S. wars in Muslim countries. By blaming the older brother, defense lawyers hope to convince the jury to not sentence Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's lawyer, Judy Clarke, told the jury Wednesday the 21-year-old native Chechen participated with Tamerlan in setting off the bombs, but said Tamerlan masterminded the plot and deeply influenced his brother to take part in it. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev inadvertently killed his brother, running over him with a car, as they attempted to elude police days after authorities had identified them as suspects in the bombings.

In his testimony, Bauman said he thought Tamerlan looked "very suspicious. He was alone ... was not watching the race. He was not having fun."

Bauman said he noticed an unattended bag that hid one of the two home-made pressure cooker bombs that defense attorneys acknowledge the Tsarnaev brothers detonated.

After the blasts, Bauman, at the race to watch his future wife run, said, "I looked down and saw my legs. It was pure carnage ... I could see my bones and flesh sticking out."

He later described Tamerlan Tsarnaev for authorities as they began to search for bombing suspects.

Protester outside the John Joseph Moakley federal courthouse where trial for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is being held, Boston, Massachusetts, March 5, 2015. (CarolynPresutti/VOA)

Protester outside the John Joseph Moakley federal courthouse where trial for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is being held, Boston, Massachusetts, March 5, 2015. (CarolynPresutti/VOA)

Wednesday, jurors heard testimony from three other survivors of the bombing who were severely wounded in the attack — two of whom each lost a leg.

"My bones were literally laying next to me on the sidewalk," said 27-year-old survivor Rebekah Gregory, who also suffered multiple shrapnel injuries to one of her arms.

Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to the 30 counts against him, including the fatal shooting of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer days after the bombings as the Tsarnaevs tried to flee.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his late brother are ethnic Chechens who had lived in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan and the volatile Dagestan region of Russia before coming to the U.S. with their parents and two sisters about a decade before the bombings.

Some information for this report comes from AP, AFP and Reuters.

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