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Boston Bombing Suspect Charged; Woman To Run Course Bomb Interrupted

Aired April 22, 2013 - 14:00   ET


JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Jake Tapper, alongside Brooke Baldwin in Boston, for special live coverage of the investigation into the Boston Marathon terrorist attacks.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Live during this hour, a lot happening here in the city of Boston. In just about 15 minutes from now, this city will stand still along with the White House at the precise moment when those two bombs went off, about a block from where we're standing here in Copley Square. Remember, this was the middle of Boston. This was the end of Boston's most famous race, the iconic marathon. It happened this very hour exactly one week ago. So today, of course, they will be honoring those four victims and the dozens wounded in last Monday's attacks.

TAPPER: We now know the surviving suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, has been charged while he lays badly wounded in his hospital bed here in Boston. One of the charges, using a weapon of mass destruction. All this as Bostonians are back at work today, trying to find some semblance of normality after a deadly bombing, a terrorist manhunt, car chases, shootouts, a city-wide lockdown.

Four innocent people have been killed. One of those being remembered today is Krystle Campbell. Hundreds turned out today for the funeral of the 29-year-old restaurant manager. Meanwhile, Boston University has announced a memorial scholarship to honor the life of one of its students, Lingzi Lu, also killed during the Boston Marathon terrorist attacks.

BALDWIN: So many young lives gone, Jake.

And we're also learning today more about the slain suspect. A 26-year- old immigrant from Russia who was definitely on the FBI's radar, may have followed - may have followed radical Islam. Police are look at this jihad video here. Parts of the elder brother's YouTube collection.

But the real focus is on the younger brother. The only surviving suspect. He is Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Seen here wrestling with a friend. He was the captain of his senior year high school wrestling team.

Today, though, a much different situation for him. He is handcuffed, as we speak, to a hospital bed. And as Jake mentioned, we have just learned the charges here have now been filed against him. This is huge that we're learning here just in the last couple of minutes. A senior federal official, briefed on the investigation, says that this young man is, in fact, communicating in writing. His throat was wounded. He is injured, so as a result, these myriad injuries have left him speechless, at least for now.

TAPPER: Now there are a lot of moving parts in this investigation, of course, today. Crime scene investigators returned to the backyard just outside Boston where that boat cover, flapping in the wind, led to the capture of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev after a volley of gunfire. This investigation stretching from Boston, all the way to Chechnya in Russia. Today we learned police believe the brothers may have been planning more attacks. Take a listen.


COMMISSIONER ED DAVIS, BOSTON POLICE: The two suspects were armed with handguns at the scene of the shootout. And there were multiple explosive devices, including a large one that was similar to the pressure cooker device that was found on Boylston Street. I saw that with my own eyes. I believe that the only reason that someone would have those in their possession was to further attack people and cause more death and destruction.


TAPPER: CNN's Deb Feyerick is in New York, and Pentagon correspondent Chris Lawrence is in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, with an exclusive, details on the wife of the eldest brother.

But before we get to that, Deb, we just learned Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been charged with using a weapon of -- or using weapons of mass destruction. Run us through the specific charges.

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I want to take you through some of the key points that are here in this criminal complaint. Those released just moments ago.

First of all, he is charged with using a weapon of mass destruction and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction. Those are the two preliminary charges upon which he is being held.

Now, some specificity in the document. First of all, in Tsarnaev's room, at his college room, they found a large pyrotechnic, like a firework. They also found a black jacket and a white hat resembling the ones that were worn by the suspect during the bombing. They also found BBs. That was found in his room. In a car, second location, they recovered two unexploded IEDs, two bombs, also in that - in that -the containers, the similar containers, and remnants of an exploded IED. Now, apparently, Tsarnaev has gunshot wounds to his head, to his neck, to his legs and also to his hand. So that's the injuries.

But there's one really interesting section here, as I'm reading through the criminal complaint, and this is about how the bombing played off - played out. And apparently Tsarnaev -- we're talking about Dzhokhar, the guy in the white hat, apparently he had a cell phone in his left hand. He gets in front of the restaurant - this is where the little boy is standing. There's a metal barricade that's there. And he's seen slipping the backpack off his shoulder onto the ground.

Now, it's at that point that - there's about a four-minute window where he's occasionally look at his cell phone. At one point he even -- it appears that he takes a picture with that particular cell phone. And then approximately 30 seconds before the first explosion, he lifts the cell phone to his ear, he's on it for about 18 seconds, and just then that first explosion occurs. Everybody looks in the direction of that first explosion. And then, according to the criminal complaint, that is when he seizes the opportunity to simply walk away, leaving his knapsack there. And there's a window of about 10 seconds, according to the criminal complaint, from the time he walks away to the time that second knapsack, the one where the little boy was killed, that one explodes.

There's also a pretty detailed description of what was going on with the carjacker. And apparently the older brother knocked on the window of the vehicle and he pointed a gun at the victim and he said, did you hear about the Boston explosion? I did that.


FEYERICK: And that's when he got into the car and the two then picked up the younger man. They were talking in a foreign language. They demanded money from the victim. He only had $45. So they drove to an ATM and tried to get more money from that. And that's -- then they then went -- the stolen vehicle was left on a street near where the shootout occurred. It appears they got into a second vehicle. All that now under investigation.

But some interesting details not only just about the kinds of injuries he sustained, but the kind of evidence they have, as long as that description of the cell phone communication that was going on in the moments before first explosion.

Jake. Brooke.

BALDWIN: It's incredible the details that are coming to light. I know, Jake, we have here, we're just going to do this sort of on the fly live, as you now have this criminal complaint and you are reading it as we're listening to you, Deb. So in just a moment, I want to bring in our senior legal analyst Jeff Toobin, because here's my question for you. The big question was going to be, you know, would he initially face this most massive charge, this weapons of mass destruction resulting in death, because that is key because that is the death penalty eligible charge. And there was discussion as to whether or not that would be brought against him initially. You weren't in the room, Jeff Toobin, but talk me through some of the conversations that would have been had. Why charge him with this up front?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, this was an enormous terrorist crime. And three people died in a bomb in a major public place. Why wouldn't you charge the most serious crime that you could?

Let me just stop for a second and give a little procedural point here. This is a complaint. It sets essentially a 30 day - 30 day clock in motion. During those 30 days, the case will be presented to a grand jury and he will then be indicted in the course of those 30 days. Those charges may be somewhat different. Chances are there will be more of them. But this charge here, in this complaint, is not the final word of the government in terms of what he's going to be charged with. The grand jury will ultimately decide the final charges, and we'll know a lot more about that within the next 30 days.

TAPPER: And, Jeff, if I could ask you, I'm reading this criminal complaint and I think that you make a very important point, because obviously this is just one iteration of evidence. The FBI agents in this criminal complaint says -- he describes the act of bombers number one and bombers number two leaving knapsacks in certain spots and then says, "I can discern nothing in that location in the period before the explosion that might have caused that explosion other than bomber two's knapsack." At a different point he also says he's compared the photograph of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev with photographic and video images of bomber number two and I believe, based on their close physical resemblance, there was probable cause that they are one and the same person. Surely when the government actually presents its case, and this is obviously just one week after the attack, they're going to have a lot more than what's in this criminal complaint.

TOOBIN: Absolutely. That's a very important point, Jake. I mean the -- like many complaints, this has a lot of words in it like "might be," "appears to be," "seems to be." Those statements will be replaced by actual evidence if and when this case goes to trial. Obviously one of the most important pieces of evidence is the bomb itself. There will be technical evidence about where the bomb came from, and whether it was inside a backpack. They presumably will be able to tie that backpack to the backpack in the photograph, but they haven't been able -- haven't been able to do it yet. Certainly the circumstantial evidence described here in this case, the fact that he sets down the backpack, the fact that nothing else appears to explode, is extremely powerful. But it's only the beginning of what the government will be able to prove at trial.

BALDWIN: Deb Feyerick, let me bring you back in, because you've had more time to go through this 10-page criminal complaint. What more detail are you reading?

FEYERICK: Yes. You know, it's just - it's really fascinating because there's been a huge question as to how the gentlemen were able to communicate and how they were able to detonate the particular device. So the fact that he was on the cell phone immediately before that first explosive went off clearly the suggestion is, is that he was making sure that his brother was -- his brother, the suspected bomber, was away from the vicinity of that bomb before he himself lit his own device.

And also, very interesting, you know, as we look at this, there's a big question as to why they would have let this carjacking suspect either go or escape. The criminal complaint, I believe, says "escape." But the fact that they would even make that a possibility because, the carjacking victim walked into the very same gas station as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had been in just moments before. So, whether they were being sloppy, it's very unclear. But I think the presence of the evidence that they've so far found, now we know the extent of his injuries, and the neck, and the leg, and the hand, as well as the head, you know, all that is sort of painting a picture in terms of the kind of condition that he's in right now. But really it's that description of how this bombing took place that is quite fascinating. Really stands out in this criminal complaint.

TAPPER: And, Deb, just going over the complaint, there's still many questions, many things we do not know. We still don't have the details about the shooting of that MIT police officer who these brothers allegedly killed. That is not explained in detail here. We may never know exactly what happened. And as you say -- I'm sorry, Deb, go ahead.

FEYERICK: No, I was just saying that that's - it's interesting that you would mention that. I'm working on a lead on that right now. So I do hope to have some information for you on that shortly about how it all played out, because that was the trigger that launched this entire investigation. And the information I'm getting is rather stunning actually. So hopefully we'll have that for you within the hour.

TAPPER: And, Jeff, looking at this complaint, and it describes when they carjacked this unknown individual, and they bragged, did you hear about the Boston explosion? I did that. He then -- one of the brothers, removed the magazine from his gun, shows the victim that it had a bullet in it, and reinserted the magazine. He says, "I'm serious." They drive to another location. They demand money from the victim. They get $45 from him. Then they compel him to hand over his ATM card. They go to the ATM machine. And when the two brothers get out, as Deb mentioned, the victim -- the carjacking victim manages to escape. Not a tremendously sophisticated terrorist operation here in these last hours of their freedom.

TOOBIN: I mean the -- just because you're a criminal -- one thing prosecutors often say, just because you're a criminal doesn't mean you're a competent criminal. Just because you're a terrorist, doesn't mean you're a competent terrorist. I mean the -- what their exit strategy for this - for this crime was remains a total mystery.

But I just -- I think you raise a very important point about the murder of the MIT police officer, Collier. He -- they are certainly going to have a theory of that. And they are not going to let -- the prosecutors are not going to let that crime go unpunished or unprosecuted. But in a complaint, in an initial complaint, you don't have to explain everything. And that is certainly a conspicuous omission in this complaint. There's -- in my quick reading, there's not a word in here about the murder of Officer Collier. And I think that is something that the government is certainly going to address before the grand jury and certainly before a trial if there -- if this case actually goes to trial.

BALDWIN: I feel like, and maybe you remember this too, just being out here for the better part of last week, so many people, so many of our analysts and reporters with sources have said, you know, clearly these people had very sophisticatedly planned this whole thing a week ago today. But as far as what happened post explosion, it just didn't really seem very well thought out whatsoever.

Jeff, here's my other question. Just to confirm, this -- Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has not yet been read his Miranda rights, correct?

TOOBIN: You know, I have to say, I don't know, because there was an initial appearance today. That's why this complaint is out. The circuit executive, which is sort of the administrator of this area, has put out a statement saying there was an initial appearance before a magistrate judge. That is, as far as I understand it, an arraignment. I have never heard of an arraignment without an attorney present. They didn't mention an attorney present. If an attorney is present, the attorney will simply say to the client, you -- don't answer questions. At that point, the attorney is the person the prosecutor is supposed to deal with. So I just have to say, there is information out there that we don't have, is whether an attorney was present, whether this was an actual arraignment. I think we just need to hold off on that until we get more information.

BALDWIN: We are holding off. Still so early that this has all happened. Go for it.

TAPPER: Before we let Deb Feyerick go and chase down that lead she was referring to, Deb, I was just wondering, having reviewed this criminal complaint, is there anything else that stands out in it that you should let us know about?

FEYERICK: You know, I went through it pretty thoroughly. You know, they basically -- they basically summarize the events of what happened at the Boston Marathon. You know, they talk about how there was an interruption of interstate foreign commerce. Obviously the suggestion that there will be an additional charge there.

They also talk pretty much about the security cameras and how the two men were picked up on those two security cameras. But really it is -- it is that description of the blast that really jumps out. That and the story by the carjacker - the man, the carjacking victim, who basically said, you know, that one of the suspected bombers came up and said, did you hear about the Boston explosion, I did that. And it's a pretty - it's a pretty gutsy move. These men did not -- were not acting as if they wanted to go undetected and that's what's kind of interesting.

I mean, think about it, the younger brother, he walked into the gas station. He could not have known -- how could he not have known that he would have been photographed there? So he's there long enough to get a picture taken. He then goes to an ATM, again, long enough to get a picture taken. So these -- they were not underground. Not by a long stretch. But why they began that initial shot, why they fired that initial shot at that MIT officer, again, investigators are trying to get into their heads to figure out why, because that's what really put them on the radar so that police could respond the way they did.

Jake. Brooke.

BALDWIN: Thank goodness for the lack of forethought, right?


BALDWIN: Because that is what helped. I know so many people were able to identify this young suspect because of those photos.

Jeff Toobin, my last question is this. We've just got confirmation from Bill Mires (ph), our producer in Washington, covered the Supreme Court for years and years, he says he has now learned definitively there was a public defender inside that hospital room today when these charges were read. Does that change anything?

TOOBIN: Well, that's just the normal procedure. That's what makes sense. I was confused by the initial reports that didn't mention a defendant. This looks to me like an arraignment. And obviously it's a very unusual crime and it's unusual, though not unprecedented, to have one in a hospital room. But this is how arraignments work. You have a defense attorney who represents the -- who represents the defendant. He asserts that he understands the charges against him.

Now, what's usually dealt with in an arraignment is the question of bail. Is someone getting out on bail. Obviously this defendant is not getting out on bail. And really the only purpose of this arraignment is to start the 30-day clock, which will lead to an indictment in the next month.

TAPPER: All right, Jeffrey Toobin and Deborah Feyerick, thank you so much.

We'll be right back. And when we come back, we'll speak to a runner who, today, is going to finish that marathon. Stay with us.


BALDWIN: Welcome back here to Boston.

And I don't know if you've ever run a marathon, Tapper?

TAPPER: In my mind.

BALDWIN: In your mind. But for those of you who have run this 26.2 miles, you know it's an extreme test of the body. But today it is really the human spirit that one runner will highlight when she does her special version of the race. Cassie Taylor could not finish the last seven tenths of a mile. It was one week ago today, of course, when the bombing shut down the course.

TAPPER: So, today, at the time that the first blast hit one week ago, Cassie will finish her marathon run and she's asked others to join her. And Cassie Taylor, today, right now, joins us.

Cassie, why do you feel the need to do this? As you explained to us, you more than finished the marathon because even though there were seven tenths of a mile left, you spent a few minutes sprinting -

BALDWIN: You were sprinting two more miles.

TAPPER: Sprinted two or three more miles looking for family and friends.

CASSIE TAYLOR, BOSTON MARATHONER: Yes. Yes. There's a lot of people that are in the similar situation as I am. And, you know, of course the first and foremost is honoring the victims and thanking people that protect our country every day. But we also don't want to lose sight of what the marathon spirit is. And the majority of the people that didn't get to finish this race are running for a charity. We're not running to finish on our own. We're running to represent important people and causes and incredible stories all around the country. And we don't want that to be lost in the chaos that's following. So we really want to go out there and finish this for them. You know, when you have a mother with a young child fighting cancer looking you in the eyes - you know, I was running for Family Reach Foundation -- this woman with tears in her eyes just thanking me for being brave. I need to finish for her, and not for me, and I think a lot of people are in the same boat here.

TAPPER: Give me the name again of the organization you're fighting for.

TAYLOR: It's Family Reach Foundation. You can visit and learn a little bit more about it. But there's countless causes that are so important we're running for.

BALDWIN: Let me ask you this. And I was just down at the memorial site earlier today and there was a woman, hadn't run the marathon, but she had her shoes laced up and she was ready to go because today was the day that she wanted to do this to honor so many of the victims. I know people across the country are doing that. But logistically speaking, obviously this is still - it's still cordoned off by Boston Police.

TAPPER: Right, it's still a crime scene.

TAYLOR: Right.

BALDWIN: Are you -- so you sadly cannot actually finish where that finish line is, just on the other side of the building. So where will you be running?

TAYLOR: Right. Well, we will start at Commonwealth Ave. and Charlesgate East, just ahead of where it crosses Mass Ave. And we'll go - we'll go essentially parallel to the finish line. So we'll be crossing it, just not on the actual Boylston Street. We'll be running down Com Ave. and then taking a right on Arlington.

BALDWIN: How many people are running this with you?

TAYLOR: We'll see how many shows up. I mean when you put it out there, you know -

TAPPER: But the people who want -- if anybody is inspired right now and they're lacing up their shoes right now, they should meet you at 2:50 Eastern -


TAPPER: Where, exactly?

TAYLOR: On Commonwealth Avenue where it intersects Charlesgate East. And we will observe the city-wide moment of silence and then run into the memorial.

TAPPER: And what do you think is going to be going through your mind while you're running this, because I heard --

BALDWIN: While the bells are ringing.


TAYLOR: Right. It really is just coming together. You know, we can't let things like this take our pride and take our sense of community. So I think it's important that we show how resilient we can be and, you know, I know a lot of us will be back next year, but this is our chance to come together and finish it the right way.

BALDWIN: We see, you know, it's nice to see the hustle and bustle back here in Boston, people going back it work, a lot of people wearing these "Boston strong" hats, signs everywhere.

TAYLOR: Right.

BALDWIN: What does "Boston strong" mean to you?

TAYLOR: You know, like I said, community. There's a spirit here that, you know, people might joke about it, that we're the only city that will shut down until we find someone that messes with us, but, you know, it's all about community, whether it's about sports, whether it's about banning together for something this important to us. We really do come together in Boston and I think that's important to represent.

TAPPER: You know, I wish that every time we mentioned the name of one of the suspects, we got to name the victims 15 times each.

BALDWIN: Exactly.

TAPPER: You are roughly the same age -- there were two women in their 20s who were killed in this horrible terrorist attack.

TAYLOR: Right.

TAPPER: Krystle Campbell and Lingzi Lu I think was - I believe she was 22 years old. Does that make it extra horrible because you are a woman in her 20s? I mean does that make it - does that make it even more of something or --

TAYLOR: No. I mean, I think it just reminds us that you can't count any day as always going to be there. I think it reminds us that we need to treat the time as precious as we can. And, you know, I'm here. I plan to run again next year. And I know that's on camera now, so I have to do it, right, but --

TAPPER: Right, this will be used as evidence in the court of public opinion.


TAYLOR: Right.

BALDWIN: We (INAUDIBLE) come back and make sure.

TAYLOR: I will be here.

BALDWIN: I love that you're rocking the jacket. So many people around town --

TAYLOR: Oh, yes, I've got the bib on and everything. I never took it off.

TAPPER: That's pretty nice. Yes.

BALDWIN: Excellent. That is excellent. Cassie, good luck.

TAYLOR: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Let us know how it goes, all right?

TAPPER: We're rooting for you. We're rooting for you.

BALDWIN: We're rooting for you and any one - anyone here in the city. We appreciate it.

TAPPER: Thanks so much for being here.

TAYLOR: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Coming up next, we're going to talk to our correspondent Chris Lawrence, because he's getting some new information today, not on this younger suspect who we keep talking so much about who's in the hospital right now, but this older suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who is now dead. We're learning more about his wife, his wife. New details on the other side of the break. Stay right here.