Tsarnaev Trial Witnesses: Day 4

March 10, 2015:  Day 4
– Continuation of cross of Agent Kimball
Cross examination began first thing in the morning with the cross of Agent Kimball about Jahar’s Twitter accounts.  Defense attorney Conrad pointed out a few things and took the feds down a few notches:

1.  Conrad pointed out that comments and re-tweets made after April 19th, 2013 could not have been posted by his client.  He was in jail.
2.  Jahar’s account, @J_Tsar, was updated by user in July of 2013.  Again, Conrad argued, that couldn’t have been by his client.
3.  He asked Agent Kimball if he was aware that the Sept. 11th comments posted on Jahar’s Twitter came from a Comedy Central sketch/Tosh.o joke?  “No.”
4.  Conrad pointed out that had Kimball clicked on a hashtag used on a tweet that said “You will have to make tough decisions…,” he would have seen it was actually a horoscope.
5.  Conrad’s question:  “Why didn’t you click on the hashtags?”  Answer:  “It wasn’t part of my duties.”
6.  The kicker?  Kimball stated in testimony the day before that Jahar’s cover pic on his Twitter was a picture of Mecca.  Uh.  It’s not Mecca.  It’s Chechnya.  Eh.  Mecca.  Chechnya.  Wyoming.  What’s the difference?

@hollybdc, at one point during Kimball’s cross, tweeted, “Agent Kimball looked uncomfortable on the stand.”  I’m sure.

Prosecution Re-Direct:
The re-direct alluded to the fact Jahar attended the 2012 marathon.  Is it true?  I dunno.  And if it is, what’s the significance?  Is the government going to propose the Tsarnaev brothers had been planning this for well over a year?  Hmm.  The prosecution also tried to clear up the fact about Jahar’s Twitter being updated while he was imprisoned.  Kimball said it was likely from an internet service provider “preserving the account.”  Clearly “isp” is now code for the government.


manifestoWitness 28:  Officer Todd Brown

Brown is a Boston Police bomb technician who’s been with the department for 24 years.  He’s worked SWAT, K-9 and the Explosive Ordinance Unit.  His job on the day of the marathon and after the bombings was to sweep the area for more explosives.

Officer Brown’s testimony was pretty short but interestingly, none the less.  Besides doing a sweep of Boylston for more bombs on the 15th, Brown also swept the boat that Jahar was found in.  He testified to seeing the note inside of the boat along with bullet holes and blood.  He also testified to seeing Jahar, bloodied, exiting the boat – that is, from four houses away.  No biggie, right?  I mean he probably had some binoculars on him.  Nope.  Read on.

Cross Examination by the Defense:
Q:  Where were you when Dzhokhar left the boat.
A:  On Franklin Street
Q:  You didn’t see him get out?
A:  No.  (@JimArmstrongWBZ)

There were minimal tweets that went out during the defense’s cross (or I was looking in all the wrong places) which was unfortunate because defense attorney Bruck was able to show that Brown’s story didn’t jive and that no guns or other weapons (except a no.2) was found on the boat with Jahar.  Repeat, no guns or other weapons were found on the boat.  Not even a lighter?  I mean, how did that dude write that letter in the dark?  Just asking.


Witness 29:  FBI Agent Jeffrey Rolands
Rolands gave testimony about evidence collection and the two crime scenes on Boylston St.  Outside of holding a paint can with a bunch of bb’s in it, there’s not much to say about this guy’s testimony.


Witness 30:  FBI Agent Kristin Koch
FBI agent, BA in bio-chemistry from Boston University, she oversaw the evidence collection at the Black Falcon Pier warehouse.

Here’s her testimony (pretty short):
– She worked 22 hour days after the bombings.
– She collected evidence from the Boylston Street crime scenes.
– Some of the evidence came in wet and bloody.  It needed to dry before being analyzed.
– She testified about the chain of custody
– She testified that over 3,000 pieces of evidence came in.
– Did I read the tweets wrong or was she testifying with a can of bb’s too?  Did the feds ever look into a large quantity of bb’s being sold prior to the marathon?  No, seriously.


Witness 31:  Dr. Michael Macia
Macia works in a FBI lab in Quantico, VA.  Holds a PhD in chemistry and works in post-blast evidence and analysis.  His job was to rebuild the bombs from the April 15, 2013 blasts.


Witness 32:  FBI Agent Jason Costello
Special Agent Costello is an expert in charting crime scenes and used survey equipment to diagram scenes and then put them into electronic format.  He constructed maps for both scenes –
Crime scene A:  Marathon Sports
Crime scene B:  Forum (407 items from this scene documented, 4,000 pictures taken to show what was there)
He worked fourteen hour days.


Witness 33:  Paula Ernst
Paula Ernst works at the FBI lab in Quantico as a lab chief in forensics.  She also does accident reconstruction and has worked in the past at Columbine and the 9/11 Pentagon crime scene.

During Ernst’s testimony, a crime scene diagram was shown to the jury.  The diagram contained dots that were color-coded based on categories and each dot represented evidence found at both scenes.  When you hover over one of the dots an evidence number shows up along with a photo (if possible).  These evidence numbers correspond to the feds’ evidence list.  Kinda cool, right?


Witness 34:  FBI Agent Sara De Lair

De Lair worked as Team Leader 4 of the Evidence Response Team.  She testified that when she arrived on scene at the marathon there were three bodies.  She took pictures of them and testified that the medical examiners had to keep returning to the scene to pick up more found body parts.  They collected human remains and bomb fragments.  The crime scene was closed and anyone working it had to sign in and out.

The judge called it for the day so he could go look at the boat in person.  The issue?  The government wants to bring in just the panel that contains Jahar’s writings, the defense wants the whole dang thing brought in.

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