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Marathon bombing case now in hands of jury

Defense attorney Judy Clarke addressed the jury during closing arguments as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (right) listened.Jane Flavell Collins/AP

A jury of seven women and five men deliberated their first day in the federal death penalty trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Tsarnaev faces 30 charges, including 17 that carry the possibility of the death penalty, for his role in the bombing of the Boston Marathon in April 2013.

US District Court Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. on Tuesday brushed aside efforts by lawyers to correct typographical errors in some exhibits, instead dispatching the panel to start their closed-door conversations at about 9:10 a.m.

“With that, we will ask the jury to commence with deliberations,’’ said O’Toole who rejected repeated efforts by Tsarnaev’s defense lawyers to shift the trial out of Boston.


O’Toole dismissed the jury at about 4:40 p.m., saying, “It’s time to call it a day.” The jury is expected to resume deliberations Wednesday at 9 a.m.

He said the jury had sent him two questions, which were written at 4:25 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. He said he would notify the prosecution and defense what the questions were and they would discuss them on Wednesday.

Three people were killed in the Marathon explosions, and more than 260 people were injured, including 17 people who lost limbs. Tsarnaev and his older brother also killed MIT Police Officer Sean A. Collier days after the bombing, carjacked a Chinese entrepreneur, and engaged police in a firefight in Watertown. Tsarnaev’s brother, Tamerlan, died after he was shot by police, then hit by his brother driving a stolen SUV.

Monday’s closing arguments, which spanned four hours, allowed prosecutors and defense attorneys to summarize the testimony of 95 witnesses and the evidence presented over 16 days.

During his closing argument, a federal prosecutor described Tsarnaev as a cold-blooded killer and terrorist determined to attack the Boston Marathon, while a defense lawyer for Tsarnaev implored jurors to see her client as a misguided young man who followed an influential older brother down the wrong path.


If the jury finds Tsarnaev guilty, the trial will continue to a second phase, to determine whether Tsarnaev would be sentenced to death or life in prison.

The defense declared in both opening statements and closing arguments at the trial that Tsarnaev did not deny participating in the violence. It also only called four witnesses. The defense’s focus appeared to be not on winning his acquittal but on saving him from the death penalty during the second phase of the trial.

Milton Valencia can be reached at milton.valencia@globe.com. Patricia Wen can be reached at patricia.wen@globe.com.