Police officers testifying at the trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev described a gunbattle and powerful explosions Monday, recalling the death of Tsarnaev's older brother and the process that ended an intense manhunt for the pair.
Tsarnaev's attorneys have admitted that he was involved in the deadly bombing and the events that followed. But they also insist he was led into the operation by his older brother, and they say he doesn't deserve the death penalty.
The defense team's strategy has often precluded them from quibbling with prosecutors' statements — something that has put the trial on a faster pace than many had expected. Today, jurors viewed the bullet-riddled boat in which Tsarnaev was captured.
From Boston, NPR's Tovia Smith reports for our Newscast unit:
"Police described a hail of gunfire and several explosives thrown at them in a quiet suburb near midnight, while the Tsarnaev brothers were on the run.
"When police were finally able to capture Tamerlan Tsarnaev and were trying to cuff him, they say they saw the defendant speeding at them. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev ended up running over his brother and dragging him under the SUV for a bit, before speeding away. As the sergeant put it, 'He was just gone.'
"Defense attorneys have raised just a few questions on cross-examination, trying to cast doubt on whether Dzhokhar Tsarnaev actually fired shots — all part of their strategy to cast him as the minor partner in the attack, and his brother as the real mastermind."
Tovia has also been tweeting about the trial, from the federal courthouse. Here's a sampling of the testimony and events she has seen and heard today: