Dzhokhar (Jahar) Tsarnaev’s last pre-trial hearing took place Thursday, December 18 at 10am. Drone footage shows him being brought into the courthouse around 6am wearing shackles and an orange jumpsuit. He looked thin and seemed physically weak. The courthouse entranceway was a zoo, with a huge crowd of reporters, Homeland Security, FBI, police and protesters even before 8am. The massive audience filled the courtroom, plus two overflow courtrooms and the jury assembly hall, where the proceedings were shown on livestream video. About a dozen people identifying as victims of the Boston Marathon bombings also attended. Those watching on video were able to hear the judge clearly and see the defendant’s face while those experiencing the hearing live saw only his back.
Jahar sported wild, unkempt curly hair that was almost an afro, standing many inches above his head. He has grown a short beard. His eyes were downcast most of the time. He touched his face and nose a lot. His feet remained in shackles, while he sat in a relaxed slouch with his knees open throughout the 25 minute hearing. His facial expression seemed a bit weird and befuddled - quite intense yet not quite there - perhaps a side effect of being kept in isolation for over a year. He seemed almost disoriented, but maybe he was just exhausted from being hauled out of bed in the middle of the night. A supporter later asked his mother if he was taking medication and was told no, he won’t even take aspirin for a headache. He was wearing a black sweater over a white button-down shirt and slacks for court.
Judge O’Toole asked Jahar whether he had voluntarily chosen not to be present for any of the previous hearings; whether he had been kept up to date on the proceedings; and if he was happy with his representation. Jahar answered, “Yes, sir” to the first two questions and “pretty much,” or “very much” to the last question. This is the first time the public had heard his voice since he pled “Not Guilty” in 2013. The rest of the hearing was nothing special, just going over the motions. Judy Clarke patted him on the back a few times. Until…
As Jahar was handcuffed and taken out of the courtroom after the hearing, a woman in the courtroom started yelling loudly in Russian: “There are many people here supporting you. We are praying for you. We love you. We know you are innocent! Stay strong, my son!”
Onlookers report that he heard these words and smiled, although he did not turn around.
“I'm pretty sure his lawyers were not happy! Lol! I saw Miriam Conrad's face was like a wtf moment ... But I can tell Jahar was relieved. Jahar appreciates It,” stated an onlooker.
As the US Marshalls escorted her out, Elena shouted in English, “Stop killing innocent people! Stop killing innocent boys!”
Elena Teyer, US veteran and the mother of Ibrahim Todashev’s widow, then suddenly gave an impromptu press conference to hoards of reporters for the next one and half hours outside. Thank God! It worked out very beautifully that way because of the gag order that prevents Jahar’s lawyers from even stating that their client is innocent in public. Even the prosecutors made no statement to the press. Elena passionately defended Jahar’s innocence and all his friends. She decried all of the lives that have been destroyed because of FBI lies and games.
The ongoing arguments between the defense and prosecution are that the defense wants a “continuance” - in other words, more time to prepare. The government is demanding (and I would say bullying) the defense to provide detailed information about witnesses, even though it has been made clear that the witnesses are feeing too intimidated.
About 8 protesters held up placards after the hearing. About half were from out of state while the rest were local. One sign read: “Got proof? Innocent until proven guilty.”
There was a moment where a Bostonian named Marc who had lost half of one leg in the Boston Marathon bombing, waved his empty pant leg at the demonstrators. “We all wished we could have talked to him longer. He said something about what was found in the dorm room and I said have you never played with fireworks? We have to make sure we got the right guy!! It’s important. He reportedly told me to get a job LOL,” said a local supporter.
see video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClmT70PfZRI
What was most astonishing about this hearing is that the government continues to waste the public’s time by insisting that a certain Ms. Vogelbruck be denied as a witness, because as a social worker she has interviewed a lot of people who ever knew the Tsarnaev family. Weinreb argued with his familiar smirk that he needs to know what she might say, in order that he could come up with an appropriate comeback.The government isn’t playing fair.
This is a government prosecution that was able to feed HBO and the History Channel all the statements they wanted to make, extra legal. I’d look into the government cable TV link.
The ongoing “live dispute” pertains to the list of witnesses who might testify as character witnesses in the event of a Guilty decision.
Jahar seems resigned as a noble Chechen would be, to the fate of Allah.
He absolutely refuses to plead guilty for a crime he did not commit.