Riveting testimony in the Boston Marathon bombing trial hurts Dzhokhar’s chance to avoid death penalty

During the past two days, the prosecution presented evidence about the murder of MIT police officer Sean Collier and the kidnapping of Dun Meng, a Chinese businessman, and his Mercedes vehicle by the Tsarnaev brothers.

The Boston Globe reports,

Dr. Renee Robinson, a state medical examiner, told jurors that the 26-year-old Collier was shot three times in the head, including once between the eyes, and three times in the hand, and he would have died instantly. Robinson said the shots were fired at close range, at least one with the muzzle pressed against his skin, based on the pattern of the bullet’s entry wound.

Two people were captured on campus security video approaching Collier’s vehicle from behind after he pulled over and stopped. They are visible leaving the scene from the same direction that they approached. The apparent motive for the murder was to steal his gun, but they were unsuccessful because it was locked in his holster. Police discovered that the holster had been damaged in an apparent effort to remove the gun.

Dun Meng, the Chinese businessman, testified about his encounter and escape from the Tsarnaevs. Here’s the Globe again,

Sitting at the edge of his seat, he described how he took several turns, and pulled his car to the side of the road on Brighton Avenue to send a text message to a friend. Suddenly, a sedan pulled up behind him quickly. A man stepped out of the passenger side of the car, approached his passenger side window and tapped. He asked him to lower the window. Deng thought he was going to ask for directions, but the man instead reached inside and opened the door, stepping inside his car.
“He pulled the gun to me, to my head,” Meng told jurors, describing how he thought he was being robbed. The man pulled out his magazine, to show he had bullets.

“I’m serious, don’t be stupid,” the man told him.

Then he said, “Do you know the Boston Marathon explosions? I did it, and I just killed a police officer in Cambridge.”

Meng identified Tamerlan Tsarnaev as the man with the gun. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was following behind them in a green Honda. He eventually parked the car and joined them sitting in the back seat behind Meng. Dzhokhar used Meng’s ATM card to withdraw $800. Meng escaped when they stopped at a Shell station for gas while Dzhokhar went inside to pay for the gas and Tamerlan was distracted fiddling with a GPS device.

Meng unbuckled his seatbelt with one hand and unlocked and opened the door with his other hand. He tumbled out onto the ground and took off in a crouching sprint across the street to a Mobil station where he called 911.

Police were able to find the Mercedes because it was equipped with a sophisticated GPS positioning system that located it precisely. The shootout ensued.

So far the evidence has shown Dzhokhar to be a willing participant and that is going to hurt his chance to beat the death penalty.

16 Responses to Riveting testimony in the Boston Marathon bombing trial hurts Dzhokhar’s chance to avoid death penalty

  1. Diamonique says:

    I’m followiing “The 13th Juror” on CNN.com. She writes a weekly update on the trial. I’m reading dispatch #8 now regarding the final shootout in Watertown. This stuff is fascinating. I hope I did the link correctly. 🙂

  2. Malisha says:

    Meanwhile, I have to say, Meng is quite a hero! WOW! Those moves you see on TV where the guy flings himself out of the car while someone has a gun trained on him — they’re made-for-TV and they take quite a bit of work by excellent “fight choreographers” to perfect and the actors usually have to do them over and over to get them right! Meng is an absolute HERO! WOW!!

    My son had a guy aim a loaded gun at his head once, and I think it took 3 years to recover from it, and still he’s not completely recovered. The circumstance took place while he was in college and it took place on campus; it was a complete insane unexpected and totally ridiculous event. Here’s a kid who (a) never lived in a what could be identified as a “dangerous neighborhood” and (b) never got involved in any kind of criminal enterprise, even the most benign like selling pot or anything; and (c) was never a hostile kid who would start up any kind of strife — and in fact, when kids teased him in high school about being short he wore a silly beanie to school to appear even more different from other, taller kids (and then had a growth spurt, junior year); and (d) when he experienced bullying about being Jewish, responded only with, “Jesus was a better Jew than I am,” and the very experience of having someone aim a gun at him DEVASTATED HIM! His Dean (and I) encouraged him to report this but he wouldn’t, saying that he was actually afraid the kid would then return and kill him. I don’t know how I would have reacted. I don’t know what path the kid went down after that event, either.

  3. Malisha says:

    I look at this defendant and see (and of course there is no real reason for me to see this, other than my own possibly unfortunate habit of WRITING, MENTALLY, as I experience things) someone who is spending his full mental energy at every moment and every second of every minute and hour REVISING the reality in front of him so that he can fit it into the terribly distorted vision he has of life and of his life, in particular. I am not seeing him as someone who is understanding what those witnesses have lived, and what they are living now, and what their lives mean to them. I am seeing him as someone who has a one-track tape playing, and you can call that tape being played by his dead brother or by the idea called Allah or by some combination of factors in his upbringing or really anything. It doesn’t matter what it is called. I don’t see him ever breaking out of that, but I sure hope he is given a lifetime to live so that perhaps some love that he experiences in prison (maybe somebody in prison will love him?) or some hatred he experiences in prison (no doubt) or some event or his own experience of some event one day gives him even a minute’s worth of understanding that the evil he has done is not enough experience to amount to a whole soul.

    There is no possible way for me to express the admiration I have for his lawyer. NONE.

  4. Two sides to a story says:

    I’m against the death penalty, but I can see why victims and anyone who experienced the terror of these brothers’ actions might want this young man to die.

    Kinda poetic justice to hijack an expensive car with GPS, ya think?

    Personally, I think sitting and thinking about his actions over the next several decades will accomplish more than dispatching him to the other side before his time.

  5. It’s chilling to see videotape of the bombers, now that we know who they are (were), planting the explosives and then calmly doing ordinary things, like shopping. Seeing the man’s escape to the gas station from his car that the brothers hijacked, was also fascinating. Such a young man so dedicated, by his words (verbal and written) and actions, so dedicated to evil.

  6. Malisha says:

    OT, but I’m following this story about the racist punks chanting on the frat-boy bus. Parker Rice makes up an “apology” that says:

    “I am deeply sorry for what I did Saturday night. It was wrong and reckless….”

    Reckless? Was he DRIVING the bus or just singing about the joys of lynching while on the bus someone else was driving? How was his racist glee-club threat-song “reckless”?

    Was it “reckless” to allow it to be filmed?
    Was it “reckless” to forget his white sheets and mask?

    What was “reckless”?

    Even worse: What did HE mean by characterizing his bad behavior as “reckless”? WTF?

    • Two sides to a story says:

      I know, huh. Reckless sounds like a term you apply because you got caught and didn’t like it. The event not something you can exactly atone for in a single apology anyway. It’s a lifestyle change that begins with an apology and takes a lot of hard work over a long period of time in order to re-establish trust.

      • Malisha says:

        A real apology could not, of course, be forthcoming because really, in his heart of hearts, this deficient, inadequate, poor excuse for a man really DOES believe he has the right to destroy other, inferior, sub-human people’s lives. So he can’t really understand the need for a REAL apology even if he could come to an intelligent appreciation of the NEED for one. But that aside, a real apology would have been:

        “I am sorry. Horribly guilty. I just realized, because I got busted and everyone gave me so much grief, that I really DID DO WRONG. I thought, since all the kids on the bus with me were like me, and were white, and would naturally be with me in my abominable, inexcusable racism, that my act would never result in anybody treating me badly. Now I know better. I am sorry. I can’t even figure out what I am. I feel a huge load of anger at the people who have busted me and made me own up to this crime, but at the same time I know that my anger is unjustified and it is one more thing I properly SHOULD feel guilty for. I don’t even know what I feel. I am afraid I am a bad person. I know for sure I am a racist person and a person who would agree that others should have been hurt to promote my selfish wrongful interests (for this is the core of all racism) but I don’t know how to deal with this idea; it is too big for me. I want pity but I know I don’t deserve it. I don’t know how to live now. I am sorry.”

    • gblock says:

      Perhaps it was “reckless” to perform a racist act in a way that would make it possible for him to get caught.

  7. Thank you so much. I have been eager to get a more current update. Im guessing there will be more comments about the def’s appearance. Would the intent to steal the gun also be indication of premeditation…..Obviously the intent was not benign. Thanks.

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