Boston bombing jurors see video of Tsarnaevs before blast

In this courtroom sketch, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, center, is depicted between defense attorneys Miriam Conrad, left, and Judy Clarke, right, during his federal death penalty trial, Thursday, March 5, 2015, in Boston. (CBS News)

BOSTON – Jurors in the Boston Marathon trial have watched a video prosecutors say shows the movements of the bombers before and after two explosions ripped through crowds near the finish line.

The video was compiled by the FBI using surveillance video from stores and restaurants along the route. It was shown Monday during the federal death penalty trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, whose own lawyers have acknowledged his involvement but said he was influenced by his other brother, Tamerlan, who was killed in a getaway attempt days after the bombings.

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In this courtroom sketch, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, center, is depicted between defense attorneys Miriam Conrad, left, and Judy Clarke, right, during his federal death penalty trial, Thursday, March 5, 2015, in Boston.
AP PHOTO/JANE FLAVELL COLLINS

 

 

The video shows Dzhokhar walking with Tamerlan, each carrying a backpack.

It shows Dzhokhar dip his shoulder, then shows the backpack at his feet. Then, all heads turn and look toward the sound of an explosion. Dzhokhar doesn’t look and begins walking in the opposite direction.

Seconds later, another bomb explodes. After that, the video shows Dzhokhar running in a crowd of people.

Earlier, victim Jessica Kensky testified from her wheelchair about shielding her husband from the sight of his mangled leg, being pushed to the ground as a bystander frantically tried to extinguish the flames on her body and coming to grips with becoming a double amputee.

Kensky said that she and her husband each lost a left leg in the attack and that she eventually had to have her other leg amputated as well.

“I did not want to become a bilateral amputee,” Kensky said. “I wanted to paint my toenails. I wanted to put my feet in the sand, and I wanted to do all these things. To lose the second leg was a gut-wrenching, devastating decision.”

In the first two days of testimony, prosecutors called more than a dozen witnesses, including several marathon spectators who described losing limbs. About two dozen survivors, friends and family members were in the courtroom Monday.

Last week, Tsarnaev showed no reaction to the vivid and powerful stories delivered just feet in front of him, but jurors and spectators in the courtroom found it painful to hear. In many cases, they were brought to tears, reported CBS News correspondent Elaine Quijano.

Three people died and more than 260 others were injured when twin bombs exploded at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon.

Kensky told jurors that chaos erupted after the blasts and that she remembers trying to prevent her husband from seeing his leg. She said she didn’t know she was on fire until a man shoved her down and began trying to put out the flames.

When she arrived at the hospital, she heard the voices of other bombing survivors.

“You could hear people just screaming,” she said. “Very animalistic screams.”

She didn’t realize the extent of her injuries immediately because the front of her legs looked intact.

“At one point, they rolled me over and that’s when I could tell that things were really bad, just by the looks on their faces,” she said.

Her left leg was removed below the knee during surgery, and doctors attempted to reconstruct her right leg.

But after seeing specialists around the country and having multiple surgeries over more than 18 months, Kensky had surgery to amputate her right leg this January.

For Rebekah Gregory, testifying provided a form of relief. She lay on the pavement in agony after the second bomb exploded, leaving her with a devastating injury to her left leg.

“Right before I walked in, I was dreading it,” Gregory said.

The 27-year-old posted an open letter to Tsarnaev on Facebook. “I have been truly scared of you and because of this, fearful of everything else people might be capable of,” she wrote.

“When I walked into the courtroom and I was able to look him in the face, I realized that that fear was gone. And I wasn’t afraid. And he became a nobody to me again,” Gregory said.

Also testifying Monday was a woman whose close friend died in the attacks.

Danling Zhou said her friend Lingzi Lu grabbed her arm after the first bombing.

“What happened?” Zhou recalled Lu asking. “What should we do?”

Zhou thought it was a sewer explosion. But seconds later, the second bomb exploded.

Zhou said she looked in front of her and saw a man whose legs had been blown off. She said when she looked at Lu, she thought she would be OK because she seemed to still have her arms and legs.

She found out later in the hospital that Lu had died.

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