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Surviving Boston Bombing Suspect Charged

5:06 PM, Apr 23, 2013   |    comments
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By Kevin Johnson, Donna Leinwand Leger and Aamer Madhani, USA TODAY

BOSTON -- A court official says the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings is facing federal charges and has made an initial court appearance in his hospital room.

The charges against 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev remain sealed. However, NBC reports he's been charged with "conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction against persons and property in the U.S. resulting in death".

 He is listed in serious but stable condition. Gary Wente is circuit executive of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He says the suspect made his first appearance before a magistrate judge Monday afternoon in Beth Israel hospital.

WEB EXTRA: Criminal Complaint against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Officials say Tsarnaev and his older brother set off the twin explosions at Monday's marathon, killing three people and injuring more than 180 others.

The surviving suspect in last week's Boston Marathon bombings began responding to investigators' questions Sunday evening, marking a dramatic turn for law enforcement officials trying to piece together why two brothers born near war-torn Chechnya allegedly carried out an attack on their adopted country.

Investigators had been unable to question Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was badly wounded and unable to talk since he was captured Friday night. But less than 48 hours after he was taken into custody, the 19-year-old suspect - who remains hospitalized in serious condition - began responding to questions in writing, according to a law enforcement official who was not authorized to discuss the matter and spoke on the condition of anonymity. The official declined to offer any details about the exchanges but said Tsarnaev was providing "substantive" information, even as investigators prepare to levy charges against him as soon as today.Authorities also said that the suspect's neck wound may have been self-inflicted and an attempt at suicide sometime prior to his capture.

The latest turn in this case comes on a day when U.S. lawmakers raised questions about whether authorities missed warning signs about the immigrant brothers - and as Boston regained a semblance of normalcy nearly a week after the horrific attack and the ensuing manhunt that locked down the city.

The 19 year old suspect will not be treated as an "enemy combatant" and will be prosecuted through U.S. criminal justice system, the White house announced on Monday afternoon.

The FBI also update the condition of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on Monday, sending out the following update:

According to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev remains in serious condition. The FBI is releasing this information at the request of the hospital.

 

USA Today/AP/NBC

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