Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, suspected Boston bomber, given bedside hearing


A federal magistrate, prosecutor and public defender held an extraordinary court session Monday in the hospital room of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, providing the first glimpse of the accused Boston Marathon bomber since his arrest Friday.

The bedside hearing, according to an official transcript by a court reporter, began with Dr. Stephen R. Odom, a trauma surgeon, making sure that Tsarnaev was well enough for the hearing.

“How are you feeling?” he asked him. “Are you able to answer some questions?”

Tsarnaev nodded yes.

TRANSCRIPT: Tsarnaev’s bedside hearing


The magistrate began by asking William Fick, an assistant public defender, whether he had “had an opportunity to speak with” Tsarnaev.

“Very briefly, your honor,” Fick said.

Turning to Tsarnaev, the magistrate said, “So you have your lawyers here.”

Tsarnaev nodded yes.

William Weinreb, an assistant federal prosecutor, advised Tsarnaev that the punishment upon conviction on each of the two counts could be “death, or imprisonment for any term of years, or life” and “a fine of up to $250,000.”

The magistrate told Tsarnaev: “This is not a trial, and you will not be called upon to answer the charges at this time. If at any time I say something you do not understand, interrupt me and say so; is that clear?”

Tsarnaev nodded yes.

FULL COVERAGE: Boston Marathon attack

“All right,” she said. “I note that the defendant has nodded affirmatively.”

She told him he had the right not to incriminate himself, and did not have to speak to or cooperate with the government. “Do you understand everything I have said about your right to remain silent?”

Again he nodded yes, and she said, “Again I note that the defendant has nodded affirmatively.”


She then asked him whether he could afford an attorney.

It was the only time that Tsarnaev, who was shot in the neck, made any sound. “No,” he said.

DOCUMENT: Charges filed against Tsarnaev

The magistrate said, “Let the record reflect that I believe the defendant has said ‘No.’ ”

She added: “I find that the defendant is alert, mentally competent and lucid. He is aware of the nature of the proceedings.”

She set another hearing in Boston for May 30.


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