Tsarnaev Trial Witnesses: Day One and Two

Exhibits Day One → HERE
Exhibits Day Two → HERE

As always, many thanks go out to all the reporters that have gone well above the call of tweeting duty.  Its an injustice when the court system favors numb fingers over broadcasting a case.

MARCH 5, 2015:  DAY ONE

Witness 1.  Thomas Grilk
Executive Director of the Boston Athletic Association.  Previously, he was a corporate lawyer at Hale and Dorr.

Grilk testified about the cost to run the marathon ($7 million + millions more donated by sponsoring companies), the revenue it brings into the city ($137-142 million), and how many ran in the race in 2013 (27,000).  As to safety, the BAA works with public safety officials through @MassEMA to plan for marathon safety.  During his testimony, the prosecution played videos of the first and second bomb going off (no volume).  Diagram exhibits were also used to show where the bombs went off.

Cross Examination by the Defense: This was the first cross by the defense.  They asked him questions about the diagram exhibits and if they were scaled correctly.  Grilk didn’t know for sure but answered that he believed they were correct.

Witness 2.  Shane O’hara (12:41pm)
44 year-old manager at Marathon Sports.  Worked there since 2001. The prosecution showed photos of O’hara standing in the doorway of Marathon Sports but the manager had moved inside by the time the first bomb went off.

O’hara testified that the bomb explosion sounded like a loud cannon and shattered one pane of glass in the front of the store.  As we saw back in 2013l, pictures of Marathon Sports and Lens Crafters showed the front panes of glass shattered outward.  In O’hara’s testimony he stated that Marathon Sports had two panes of glass.  I’m no expert but I’m thinking the outside pane shattered inward originally, bounced off the second pane and fell back outward?  No idea.  Just a guess pulled out of…well…moving on.  The video in court showed people coming into the store injured and O’hara is seen applying a tourniquet to a woman’s leg.  He choked up during testimony and said it was like a scene from “Private Ryan.”

No cross by the defense.

Witness 3.  Colton Kilgore
Photographer from Ashville, NC who captured graphic footage of the bombing outside of Lens Crafters.

So here’s the deal with this guy:  his mother-in-law was running the race in 2013 and he and his family went to go watch her.  When the bomb went off he was thrown through the air and when he landed he, and I quote, “hit record.”  In the three videos that Kilgore captured and shown in court, the jury saw blood, gore, people on the ground, crying children, etc.  His videos caught some really gruesome stuff and the prosecution played it with the volume on.  His family was injured including his sister-in-law, who had a severed artery in her leg and his five year-old nephew who had shrapnel wounds.  But guess what?  He just kept filming and filming and filming.

No cross by the defense.

Witness 4.  Rebekah Gregory
Victim from Houston, TX, had one leg amputated Rebekah is a mother of a five year-old boy named Noah who was at the marathon with her that day.  She’s also Colton Kilgore’s sister-in-law and Noah is his nephew.  After the bomb went off, Rebekah testified that “her bones were literally laying next to her” and that she heard her son calling for her over and over yet was unable to get to him.  While searching for him she saw Krystle Campbell and knew that she was dead.  After arriving at the hospital, she was put into a medically induced coma and had seventeen surgeries on her leg before it had to be amputated.  At one point during the marathon, Tamerlan was seen standing directly behind her.

No cross by the defense.

Witness 5.  Sydney Corcoran (3:05pm)
19 year-old victim from Lowell, MA, had one leg amputated, her mother lost both legs When the first bomb exploded, Sydney Corcoran and her family were in front of Marathon Sports.

Corcoran, initially knocked unconscious, woke up to smoke, muffled screams and the thought that her foot was gone.  She described her body as tingly and cold and thought she was about to die.  She felt sleepy, almost peaceful and wondered if her family members were already dead.  Her injuries were severe; her femoral artery had been severed and she was bleeding out on the sidewalk.  Rescue workers got her in an ambulance and she testified about how a car cut off the ambulance on the way to the hospital which caused the EMT to fall on her.  Even with the little blood she had left, she started bleeding again.  When she woke up later in the hospital her father was there.  He told her her mother had lost both of her legs but Sydney didn’t care.  She just wanted to be with her mom. **Someone on twitter posted a picture of Sydney injured and on the ground after the bombing.  The caption read something along the lines that the man in the photo with her had just proposed to her but she died.  Jahar Tsarnaev actually responded to this tweet with “fake story.”  Besides not knowing why he would do something like that, how would he have possibly known at the time if it was a fake story or not?  Lucky guess?

No cross by the defense.

Witness 6.  Karen Rand (3:36 pm)
Victim and friend of Krystle Campbell Emotional testimony by Karen Rand who went to the marathon that infamous day with Krystle Campbell.

The prosecution showed a picture of the two of them at the Boston public garden before heading to the marathon.  After the bomb exploded, Rand wondered if she was in a dream but looked down at her leg and realized something was tragically wrong.  She dragged herself over to her friend, Krystle, put her face next to hers and tried to speak with her.  She never looked at Krystle’s injuries and had no idea the extent of damage done to Krystle’s body from the explosion.  They clasped hands and Krystle slowly said that her legs hurt and then her hand went limp in Karen’s.  Karen testified that that was the last time Krystle spoke and the last time she saw her after EMS took her away.  The prosecution showed gruesome, up-close pictures of Karen and Krystle with their heads together on the ground.  Harrowing.

No cross by the defense.

MARCH 6, 2013:  DAY TWO

In the courtroom, spectators were greeted with jazz piano music.  This must be the sidebar music the judge was contemplating.  I’m sorry, but weird.  Just…weird.  Some people in attendance:  Carlos Arredonda, his wife and Bill and Denise Richard.  The defense team requested that the cameras inside the overflow rooms be turned off because they were directed straight at the defense table – a view that isn’t normally seen.  Judge waits to rule on it.

Witness 7.  Frank Chiola
(prosecutor Nadine Pellegrini)
A 10-year Boston Police Department vet in the South end, District 4, Iraq war vet, attended Northeastern.  In uniform for testimony. He arrived at work at 7:30am the morning of the marathon and was stationed near the Exeter Hotel, close to the finish line, when the bombs went off.

He testified that directly after the first explosion there was a deafening silence and then screaming and smoke everywhere.  He said there was a lot of smoke and blood and he couldn’t tell who was alive and who wasn’t.  @Laurel_Sweet tweeted that during a brief pause in his testimony he shook his head at Jahar like, “a father admonishing a naughty child.”  When he got over to the other side of the street where the bomb exploded he came across Krystle Campbell and applied CPR.  He testified that smoke was coming out of her mouth and that from the waist down, her body was a “complete mutilation” (@wburLive).  He thought that she was in a lot of pain and stayed with her for only about 30 seconds.  However, he saw Krystle later in the medical tent (deceased) and he stayed with her until past midnight that evening.  Again, harrowing testimony.

No cross by the defense.

Witness 8.  Jeff Bauman
Victim who grew up in Chelmsford, currently works at Costco, lost both legs in bombing.  Testified while wearing shorts – said wearing pants “trips him up” (@gailwaterhouse).

So apparently the courtroom loved Bauman.  Media tweets such as “[Bauman] instantly wins over Courtroom 9” (@Laurel_Sweet) and he’s “a friendly presence on the stand” (@hollybdc), and “[Bauman] puts courtroom at ease, has everyone chuckling” (@kseelye) went out early on.  Bauman’s story?  He went to the marathon with friends to watch his girlfriend, now his wife, run.  He was having an “awesome time” and was having fun with friends.  His girlfriend, Erin Hurley, was expected to get to the finish line around the four-hour mark but failed to show up and Bauman started getting worried.  At some point, Bauman testified, a “suspicious” guy around his age bumped into him while they were standing near the finish line.  Bauman described him as a guy who was alone, wasn’t watching the race and wasn’t having any fun.  He thought it was odd.  When Bauman turned around shortly thereafter the guy was gone but an unattended bag was on the ground.  Again, “Odd”, thought Bauman.  He suggested he and his friends get out of there but they wanted to stay five minutes longer.  Bad call.

After the first bomb exploded Bauman found himself on the ground thinking that the bomb had been a huge firework.  If only.  He testified that his ears were ringing, everything was muffled and his legs were “pure carnage” (@GlobeCullen).  His initial thought was that he was going to die but somehow he muscled up a second wind and sat up.  And folks, that’s when he saw St. Carlos Arredondo.  As Bauman squeezed his own leg to stop the bleeding, Carlos picked him up and put him in a wheelchair.  I’m sure we all remember the videos of Carlos running down the street with Bauman in the wheelchair.

Listen, I don’t have a problem with some guy saving another guy’s life.  But just because Carlos did what he did doesn’t make him the patron saint of heroism.  Without getting into all the videos out there about this guy and his history (google it), I’ll simply add one link HERE showing Carlos standing almost immediately in front of victims like Krystle Campbell and what’s he doing?  He’s snatching up marathon flags.  Let’s not pretend the first thing on this guy’s mind was to save people.  Please.  Stay classy, Carlos.

Going back to Bauman, this dude is the patron saint of endurance.  With two missing legs, Bauman arrived at the hospital and started barking orders at the medical personnel (because, folks, he’s still conscious).  Even Bauman testified, “i still wonder to this day how I stayed conscious throughout this whole thing” (@AlyshaNECN).  Yes, Jeff, so do we.  So do we.  After he was finally  knocked out and then woke up, he remembered the suspicious guy and “his only goal was to tell anyone what he saw” (@wburLive).  He couldn’t talk because of the tubes in his throat so he wrote down what he had seen:  6’2″ – 6’3″ white male, athletic build, five o’clock shadow, aviator shades, hoodie, black bag, and a black hat pulled down low.  He eventually spoke with the FBI and was shown photos of (potential suspects?) but none of them were the man Bauman had seen at the marathon.  Hmm.  What day did the feds show him these pics?  Upcoming testimony shows that they had “white hat” and “black hat” identified as suspects by day two after the bombing.  The prosecution ends their questioning by showing pictures of a bloody Bauman lying next to a dying Krystal Campbell.

No cross by the defense.

Witness 9:  FBI Agent Richard Claflin
He’s been with the Bureau for 18 years.  Currently works out of the Boston office.  He’s assigned to the Intelligence Squad.  Expertise in violent street gangs and narcotics investigations.  After the bombings, he was reassigned and headed up a video surveillance team that recovered, collected and preserved any videos they found. After the bombings, two command posts were set up by authorities.  One was set up at the California Pizza Kitchen, the other was at the Westin Hotel.

After arriving first at the CA Pizza Kitchen, Agent Claflin headed over to the Westin Hotel, where Boston Police Department Sgt. Earl Perkins assisted Claflin in collecting 35-40 pieces of video from local businesses.  Evidence was collected from Marathon Sports, Lenscrafters, Lenox Hotel and Dunkin Donuts and then some.  They also collected disks, iPhones and thumb drives – all before midnight.  The evidence was then taken to Black Falcon Pier where, if deemed pertinent, was then sent directly to the FBI headquarters at One Center Plaza across from city hall.  By Tuesday, the FBI had moved their headquarters to the Lenox Hotel.

No cross by the defense.

Witness 10:  FBI Agent James Marinelli

A special agent for the Boston office.  Has worked for the Bureau for 17 years.  Works in the White Collar Squad. Agent Marinelli worked with Agent Claflin, the BPD and the Massachusetts State Police, assisting in collecting video evidence.

After the feds reached out to the man who installed the surveillance system to make sure they could recover the video correctly, Marinelli testified he collected the video surveillance from the basement of Forum Restaurant.  He stated that the video was “reviewed right away” (@AlyshaNECN).

No cross from the defense.

Witness 11:  FBI Agent James Tyra (10:32 am)
Tyra works out of the Boston field office where he is a computer scientist with the Cyber Squad.  Previously worked for Mitre Corporation.

Tyra testified that he couldn’t get a good extraction of the video (I think he means the Forum video) until the following morning, on Tuesday.  He stated, “It showed a person, five minutes before the bombing, walk up to Forum” (@GlobeCullen).  He was also questioned about a GPS device that was introduced into evidence.  The GPS, according to Trya, “plotted the way points for various days” (@BostonGlobe) and the data was taken from it included coordinates, times and locations.  Significance of the GPS is still unknown.

No cross by the defense.

Witness 12:  Alan Hern
Aaron Hern was at the marathon with his children, Aaron, David and Abigail, so they could watch their wife/mother run.  He and his children were standing next to the Richard family when the bombs exploded.

After the second explosion, Alan said he was disoriented and felt like he was underwater.  His daughter was not injured but visibly shaken.  Alan left his daughter with friends to find his other kids.  When he came across 11 year-old Aaron, he found a hole in Aaron’s leg the size of his fist.  Alan testified that his son had suffered a serious football injury the year before and asked himself why this had to happen to his son again.  Aaron cried out,  “It really hurts, dad.  It really hurts” (@carlWBZ).  As people were tending to Aaron, Alan told him that he loved him and when he knelt down next to him he noticed “a jagged piece of metal the size of a kleenex box next to his head” (@gailwaterhouse).  The last thing Alan testified to seeing was Martin Richard, whom he believed to already be dead.  Horrific testimony?  Absolutely.  More so because Martin Richard’s parents were in the courtroom for this testimony?  You better believe it.  When he eventually found David, he had a large leg wound that medics didn’t have time to treat because they had to move on to other, more seriously wounded victims. At the end of the day, Aaron had both eardrums punctured, 62 staples in his legs and here’s something you would never think about:  bone fragments from other victims that were imbedded in his leg wounds.  What does that mean?  It means that this 11 year-old kid had to take anti-HIV medication.  Yeah.  Seriously.  I want to find this kid and hug him.  Now.

No cross by the defense.

Witness 13:  BPD Officer Lauren Woods
Woods has been at the department for 4.5 years.  She’s from Dorchester and previously worked at the mayor’s office.  She has known the Richard family since 2006.  She works in the Gang Unit.

At 2:30 pm, the day of the marathon, Woods was called to the Prudential Center in response to a report of a shoplifter.  While she was speaking with the store manager, people started screaming and running so she made her way outside only to hear the second explosion go off.  She ran down the street and arrived at Forum restaurant.  She stopped at Lingzi Lu and tried to perform CPR, but testified that Lu was vomiting profusely, her whole body was shaking and her eyes kept rolling in and out.  Woods noticed she had extensive injuries to her lower torso and legs and when EMT arrived they didn’t think she would make it.  They placed her in an ambulance but took her back out shortly thereafter to make room for other victims.  A white sheet  was eventually placed over her.  She was left in the street near Crate and Barrel and Officer Woods volunteered to stay with her.  At some point there was concern for a third bomb and Woods was ordered to leave the street but she felt compelled to stay with Lu.  She wanted to make sure Lu’s family saw her again and she testified that she had experience with this because she lost her cousin in Iraq.  But eventually Woods complied with the order to leave Lu.

No cross by the defense.

Witness 14:  Roseann Sdoia (12:30 pm)
Prosecutor Steve Mellin
Victim that lost one leg in the Boston bombings.  Lives in Boston.  Going to the Red Sox game and then watching the marathon in front of Forum restaurant was a family tradition.

Sdoia was in front of Forum restaurant, next to a mailbox, when the first bomb went off.  She initially thought it was odd because the race has never had celebratory cannons.  She heard a man yell out, “Get in the street!” (@wburLive) but she was too short to clamor over the barricades so she turned to run.  But it was too late and the last thing she remembered before being knocked unconscious was a flash of light at her feet.  When she came to, she immediately realized she had lost her leg because of the blood pouring from where her knee should have been.  Like in a horror movie, she looked over and saw a “small foot with a pink sock on it” and wondered if it was hers (dhausleon).  She gave out her sister’s number, I’m assuming, to rescue workers, because she didn’t want her parents getting a phone call that she had died on Boylston Street.  Emergency workers eventually placed Sdoia in a paddy wagon, the movement causing her excruciating pain.  She called out for morphine.

By the time she got to the hospital, Sdoia testified she was hallucinating.  She cried on the stand about how her leg was amputated below the knee, but later, above the knee.  She stated, “Your knee joint is something that somebody with two legs take for granted” (carlWBZ).  She said it’s been very difficult to learn how to walk again and she experiences phantom pain in her leg.  She testified to the difficulties of coping with being an amputee but, at the end of the day, she never wanted to die if only for her family’s sake.

No cross by the defense.

**Before Witness 15, the defense argued against the “military theme” that seemed to be cropping up again and again in testimony.  They argued it invoked the “us vs. them” mentality.  The judge agreed that the Iraq stuff in testimony is inappropriate.**

Witness 15:  Officer Tommy Barrett (2:14 pm)
Ten year veteran with the Boston Police Department.  He has worked the marathon at least three times in the past and says it’s fun for the officers of the city.  His location at the time of the bomb blasts?  From @Bward3, I have, “He was working between Hereford and Boylston Street.”  From @gailwaterhouse, “He was between Ring Rd. and Fairfield St.,” from @micahelhayes, “He was stationed across from the Forum,” and from @GlobeCullen, “When the bomb exploded he was on Boylston between Sol de Terre and Mandarin Hotel.”

The video from the Forum was played during Barrett’s testimony.  The video surveillance camera was situated above Forum’s front door.  At 2:45 pm, it showed a figure with a white hat walking along Boylston Street.  Four minutes later, everyone in the video looked to the left (after the first explosion).  Seconds after that, the video showed the figure in the white hat leaving the frame and seconds later the second bomb went off.  After the smoke cleared, jurors could see people in the video sprawled on the ground and trying to crawl away.  Barrett could be seen running across the street to the Forum.  He testified how difficult it was to determine who he should help.  He thought about making a tourniquet with his belt but obviously couldn’t leave his gun in the street.  He eventually patted one man down that was on fire and then scooped up a little boy named Leo who was bleeding from his head.  After he got Leo to an ambulance he returned to the Forum and helped a man named Marc Fucarile.  Barrett’s testimony was gruesome:  he stepped on a charred leg and passed a woman holding in her intestines.  He eventually found a firetruck, grabbed backboards from off the truck and got three other adults into the ambulance with Leo.

No cross by the defense.

Richard FamilyWitness 16:  William Richard
The entire Richard family was at the marathon on Monday:  his wife, Denise and children, Martin, Jane and Henry.  In the past, they usually went to Hereford St. to watch the elite runners but in 2013 they were behind schedule and arrived late at Hereford  After getting ice cream, they decided to head up to the finish line, something they had never done before.  Let’s face it, folks, all the victims in this case have tragic stories but the Richards?  It’s gut wrenching what happened to his family that day.  And if you’re one of those that believe in crisis actors, well, it might be worth your time to consider that this story is actually true and that this family will be haunted by the memories of that day forever.

Richard testified that after the first bomb went off, two things happened:  He thought he and his family should get out of the area and he also heard a man yell out to get into the street (who yelled this?).  The last thing Richard remembered was trying to get over the barricade because, folks, these people in front of the Forum had what?  Ten seconds to move away from the bomb?  He was blown into the street and his family was struck down by the explosion that rocked the Forum.  The prosecution showed the jury a photo of Richard trying to lift the barricade off his family after returning to the area he had been previously standing.  Richard saw his wife, Martin and Henry but couldn’t find Jane.  When Henry pointed out Jane, Bill Richard didn’t realize the extent of her injuries until she tried to stand up and fell back down.  He scooped her up and realized her leg had been blown off.  Jane was six at the time.  When he heard his wife calling to him, he went back over to check on her and Martin and realized how utterly horrific the situation was for his son.  He knew his son would not make it and in a moment of time that can only be described as devastating, harrowing and heart wrenching, Bill Richard made the decision to leave his dying son in order to save his only daughter.  It was the last time he saw Martin alive. Henry had cuts, scrapes and temporary hearing lost.  Jane lost her leg below the knee.  Denise was blinded in one eye and the Richard family lost 8 year-old Martin,

No cross by the defense.  Obviously.

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