‘I am absolutely fine’ – Accused Boston bomber speaks to his family for the first time since arrest
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva told Bloomberg News late Monday that she
recently spoke with her 19-year-old son over the telephone from
her home in Dagestan, Russia while he recovers in a Massachusetts
prison facility from a gunshot wound to the neck incurred over a
“He said: ‘I am absolutely fine, my wounds are healing. Everything is in God’s hands. Be patient. Everything will be fine,’” Tsarnaeva told Bloomberg.
“I couldn’t stop myself from crying,” she said of the six-minute conversation with her son.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was apprehended by police on April 19 after a days’ long manhunt in which his brother and co-suspect, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, died in a shootout with police. Both brothers are accused of carrying out a terrorist attack at the annual race in Boston and, if convicted, Tsarnaev could be sentenced to death.
“Mentally he is normal but the child is shocked,” Tsarnaeva added to Bloomberg. “It was really hard to hear him and for him to hear me. The conversation was very quiet. It was my child, I know he is locked up like a dog, like an animal.”
Tsarnaev was apprehended by police four days after the tragedy in Boston and initially spoke to investigators from a hospital bed before being read his Miranda Rights. He has reportedly since stopped speaking with authorities, however, and has retained noted defense attorney Judy Clarke for his legal team. Clarke previously represented bombers Ted Kaczynski and Eric Rudolph in the 1990s, both of whom were sentenced to life in prison in lieu of receiving the death penalty.
And although Tsarnaev has remained mostly mum in the month-plus since being apprehended, the case of the Boston Marathon bombing has continued to take turn after turn. Earlier this month, authorities charged three classmates of the accused terrorist with interfering with the federal investigation into the incident. Then last week, an acquaintance of Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed by a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent during an interview in Florida.
Meanwhile, another member of the Tsarnaev family earned headlines
on her own accord this week. Bella Tsarnaeva, the sister of the
two suspects, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to the charge of
possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. She was
indicted last December after police responded to a domestic
violent call at her Fairview, New Jersey home and became
suspicious after smelling marijuana.
“She is a young woman, 24 years old, and through no fault of her own, she has been thrust into a public spotlight,” her attorney, Mario Blanch, told Jersey’s The Record. “This has been a huge tragedy for this country, and it has also been a huge tragedy for my client.”
Although Bella Tsarnaeva has distanced herself from her brother’s case, other members of the family have spoken out to condemn the charges against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Both the boys’ mother and their aunt, Maret Tsarnaeva of Toronto, say the brothers were framed by the FBI.