Boston Bombing suspect Dzokhar Tsarnaev has been officially charged with killing four people and using weapons of mass destruction, federal prosecutors announced Thursday. Tsarnaev, 19, faces a potential death sentence over the alleged crimes.
According to the United States Attorneys’ Office, 17 of the 30 charges levied against the teenager carry a penalty of life in prison or execution.
“The defendant’s alleged conduct forever changed lives,” prosecutors said in a statement.
Officials believe the former UMass Dartmouth student and his older brother Tamerlan planted homemade explosives near the finish line ahead of the April 15 race. The double explosion that went off as runners crossed the line en masse caused three deaths and 264 injuries.
The indictment says the Tsarnaev brothers used pressure cookers stuffed with low-explosive powder, ball bearings, nails, adhesive, electronic components, and other substances to manufacture their devices.
Jahar Tsarni, as prosecutors referred to him, is also charged with carjacking resulting in serious bodily injury. While fleeing the police, the brothers stopped a vehicle and ordered the driver to turn over the car and $800, according to officers.
“I thought it was just a robbery…He took out his gun, pointed it to me,” the carjacking victim told CBS. “He told that, ‘You know I am serious. Don’t be stupid.’”
Four days later, the Tsarnaev brothers allegedly killed a police officer during a firefight. Tamerlan also died in the incident.