BOSTON – The defense in the trial of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev rested Tuesday afternoon after presenting only four witnesses.
Closing arguments are scheduled for Monday.
The defense case lasted less than two days, while the prosecution presented more than 90 witnesses over the course of a month.
Federal prosecutors rested their case with grisly testimony about how the bomb Dzhokhar Tsarnaev placed near the marathon’s finish line tore through the bodies of 8-year-old Martin Richard and Lingzi Lu, a 23-year-old grad student.
A second bomb placed by Tsarnaev’s brother, Tamerlan, killed Krystle Campbell, a 29-year-old restaurant manager. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a gun battle with police three days after the bombing.
The short presentation in the sensational trial wasn’t surprising, given that Tsarnaev’s attorney, Judy Clarke, acknowledged during opening statements that “it was him,” referring to her client’s culpability.
On Tuesday, testimony ended with an FBI fingerprint investigator who talked about numerous pieces of evidence with Tamerlan’s fingerprints and not Dzhokhar’s.
Earlier, a computer expert testified about computer searches on Tamerlan’s computer — including gun stores, transmitters, fireworks firing system, detonator and Boston Marathon — in the weeks before the bombing. Similar searches were not found on Dzhokhar’s computer.
Jurors first will be asked to determine whether Tsarnaev is guilty of 30 counts. Because 17 of those counts carry the death penalty as a possible punishment, a second phase of the trial will follow if the jury convicts him.
In the penalty phase, jurors will be asked to weigh aggravating factors, such as the heinousness of the crime, versus mitigating factors, such as Tsarnaev’s family history and his youth. He was 19 at the time of the bombings.