Transcript for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Formally Charged in Court
This is a special report from -- -- Hello I'm -- that's -- in New York where there's an ABC news digital special report a little more than three months after the Boston Marathon bombing. Joseph cars -- Diana has been formally charged thirty counts in connection to the bomb attack and subsequent murder of police officer. And a shoot out with Boston Police seventeen. Of those counts carry with them a possible death penalty sentence. We're joined now by ABC's John -- -- with more on the case John what do we know what happened inside the courtroom just in the past half hour. All -- good afternoon we know the proceedings lasted only a matter of seven minutes in total there was a lot of spectacle as he was -- ushered into the courtroom. With lot of armed security. He pleaded not guilty to the terrorism charges as you said before thirty -- in total including using a weapon of mass destruction to kill. After he pled not guilty he was escorted back out of the courtroom and inside. Spectators could see him actually. Making -- -- -- to what they believe the family members inside the courtroom where there to watch the proceedings today and do we know where there -- other family members of certain I -- in the courtroom as well. It's -- it's believed his two sisters were inside the -- Watching the proceedings his parents are believed to be back in Russia we also believe that they were a lot of of victims of the bombing who wanted to be on hand they were inside the courtroom to watch the proceedings. We know there were some officers outside who were involved in -- that police chase that happened back. When this whole thing was going on so there -- a lot of people with interest. Who showed up today deceit but what was going to happen inside that courtroom -- ABC's John -- the latest on that John thank you for that I wanna bring it. ABC's. New York based prosecutor and -- and Kolodziej for a little -- of insight on this and a seagate could you explain a little bit about I know that there are thirty counts of one of the are probably. The most significant obviously is the use. Of weapons of mass destruction and he pled not guilty to that. That is of really late will the top charge it is the one that encompasses -- -- work carries with all the other charges but he's lucky he's charged with a lot of other -- to remember there are many victims here -- -- which lost their lives there were three spectators at the marathon then there was the police officer from MIT. You have him charged with the using a bomb you have -- charge charged with the carjacking. And the various assault counts. So many of these counts as you've noted. Carry that the possibility of not just life in prison but also the possibility of a death sentence when we. Also now know that he is going to -- The charges what what does that mean for the prosecution. What that means really is just that the case goes forward now I mean by all accounts I think everyone expected him to plead not guilty is extremely rare. That's summons at this point will say I am guilty in ready to be sentenced and whether he plans to take this case to trial. And claimed his innocence and he's not guilty of what the government has charged him with or whether he wants to. Had to go down the road in hopes -- -- better. -- deal whether it is to spare his life for something less than that I don't believe. We'll ever be on the table but that may well be but his attorneys are looking at but that's what happens now that is why he says I am not guilty to prosecutors say okay it's time for us to continue to put our case together and ready ourselves for trial. As this first step has been made in the process now continues how much does the simple question of life in prison or the death sentence. Factor into discussions between the defense and the prosecution. That probably is a discussion between the death excuse me between the defense and the prosecution. While there be lots of conversations about matters such as discovery paperwork they're entitled to in the passing back and forth of information. That is -- thing -- looming large out there. Will the government seek the death penalty in this case many believe that they will although there was still do an in depth analysis before they make that decision. And from the defense point of view it certainly looks like there's an extremely strong case against him so really what the defense attorneys will most likely be hoping for is just to get that. Death sentence off the table and potentially to get a plea. Admitting his guilt and putting him in life excuse me in prison for the rest of his life but getting that death sentence off the table. And I -- to kind of can advance the discussion for a moment say -- jury is to be picked at some point down the road and we look at the scene outside of the courthouse as he was making his way in in that white van under heavy surveillance. That entire area obviously under a great deal of guards and a lot of people wanted to be bear witness in the court -- -- in the courtroom. To see him for the first time. Knowing that that's seen this plane out as a prosecutor. How much do you want to manage that -- no in fact that a potential jury could be watching. Am sure potential jury is watching because no matter where this case is tried whether it's Boston -- they change the venue to somewhere else everyone has heard about this case in many people understandably have very strong feelings about this case. As the prosecutor you know this is going to be happening and this type of attention is going to be swirling around this case from beginning. Which is fine and well in good because no one asked the jurors to coming. To a courtroom and leave everything and they know outside of and no one expects him to basically have been living under a rock and not having heard and that's. But what you need is to people that will ultimately be fair and our jury system is incredible thing people hear about these cases they form opinions. However many people are able to still sick and be fair jurors it means I can take that opinion. I can toss -- leave it outside of the courtroom listened to the evidence -- the prosecution presented and decide whether the prosecution has proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt. And I -- you can go forward to further on that that as a prosecutor where do you want this case -- is Boston. Is that seem like the obvious choice -- are going to be difficulty in selecting a jury. As a prosecutor you want it there the reason is it is because many of your witnesses are from there and the evidence is there the police officers that worked this case the investigators the medical personnel your victims. All the people aren't we going to be testifying in this trial presumably are from the Boston area or at least the bulk of them so it's an incredible inconvenience and also. An incredible expense to move this case and if you move this case and you need to fly everybody and you to transfer -- at trance. -- what will be an incredible amount of evidence so for that reason the prosecutors certainly want to keep this case close to home. -- when -- on the flip side of that we understand that he was wheeled in in a wheelchair. In it begs the question is the defense providing any kind of choreography or any kind of coaching as far as house -- -- appears what he says certainly not much he says but. In the -- in which he is presented himself to the court for the first time. May -- and we don't know yet what his current medical condition is certainly defendants have been known to do that weather is wearing glasses and they don't normally Wear to. -- be different appearance in a courtroom or whether to seeing more feeble -- they actually are in this case we don't know we know we actually was very seriously injured. During his flight or attempted flight from apprehension. And so whether he still suffering those wounds and needs to be and that will chair remains to be seen but I don't think at the end of the day that that will sway what will -- -- and Jerry's going to have to judge him on the evidence in this trial. And what is the next step in the process the next -- there'll be multiple court appearance is that we'll really be a lot of the mechanics of legalese if you will they'll be motion practice papers going back and forth discovery which means the turning over of pieces of the investigation for the defense that they can start to prepare a defense will be a lot of communication. Between both sides in this case so there is a long road to go before we ultimately get to a trial if it gets that far. And as we had mentioned before there were also many victims of the bombing and of their families in the room today. What what is the significance of attending this type of an event as a prosecutor. You -- would you want to provide for that. You want to survive provide support and wild the prosecution you are not the lawyers of your victims or the family members of those that have lost their lives. They are him Integra part of the process you want to keep them informed. And make them as comfortable as you can so that they know what's happening and they don't feel -- they have been sidelined and are left in the dark. With what at this point that's all they have left those that have lost loved ones all they have left right now. Is this prosecution to go forward which is really important -- closure of the healing process they will never be the same whether they have been named. And have lived this horrific attack or lived survived it or whether they lost loved ones as a prosecutor you really need to hold the hands if you will sometimes. A family members and living victims. So that they don't feel left behind and they feel that you still care about them and that you want them to know what's happening and then we make decisions as prosecutors based on what is right and when his legal. And that does not always make. Victims happy hopefully though we are -- on the same page and that you just keep them informed and stay in contact throughout. Throughout instruments today the first day in this long process and a -- -- -- -- -- prosecutor based here in New York thank you for your time thanks for your insight. Of course we have a complete recap on abcnews.com. On Joseph cars -- and I have facing arraignment on those thirty charges including the use of a weapon of mass destruction. -- and I have pleaded not guilty to all thirty of those charges. -- of course some of the bombing victims were in court today to face him for the first time as he was. -- in. In that white van that is now leaving the courthouse the first time. That the public has seen him since that dramatic manhunt that happened in the middle of April. After the Boston Marathon bombing attacks on April 15 where three people were killed. More than 260 people injured. Now I'm Dan -- in New York with the CBC news digital special report. This has been a special group. Report from me.
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