The condition of bombing suspect Djohar Tsarnaev’s has been upgraded to “fair” at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. The 19-year-old suspect was wounded in a shootout with police and suffered gunshot wounds in the head, neck, legs and hand.
The charges were unsealed hours after Tsarnaev had his initial court appearance from his hospital bed, during which he indicated he understood the proceedings against him and spoke once — saying “no” when asked if he could afford a lawyer.
The charges came after the White House decided against treating Tsarnaev as an enemy combatant.
The case being built against the 19-year-old college student includes one count of using a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death, and one count of malicious destruction of property. The Justice Department released a statement indicating that the charges could carry the death penalty or life in prison.
“Although our investigation is ongoing, today’s charges bring a successful end to a tragic week for the city of Boston, and for our country,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in the statement. “We will hold those who are responsible for these heinous acts accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”
Tsarnaev is being treated at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, where he is listed in fair but stable condition.
Last week’s twin bombing killed three, including an 8-year-old boy, and wounded about 170. An MIT officer was allegedly killed by Tsarnaev and his older brother Tamerlan, and a Boston transit cop was badly wounded in a subsequent shootout.