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That Magnificent Man In His Flying Machine

GyrocopterWhen I was a kid I loved to draw flying machines – submarines too – just like the gyrocopter – also called autogyro or gyroplane – that Florida mailman Doug Hughes landed on the west lawn of the Capitol on Wednesday. His flight in the ultralight contraption from Gettysburg to Washington, DC to deliver 535 stamped letters to the members of congress calling for campaign finance reform has inspired tweets calling him a hero.

GyrocopterA slender 61-year old, Hughes appeared before magistrate judge Deborah Robinson in the U.S. Postal uniform he wore for the flight. He wore earphones in the courtroom – usually provided when an interpreter is needed – possibly because of hearing loss after flying two hours with a lawnmower motor strapped to his back. At one point he attempted to speak directly to judge Robinson, but was told to let his lawyer do the talking.

After promising to return to court on May 8, Hughes was allowed to return home to Florida where he will be on home detention.

 

 

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Tsarnaev Guilty On All Thirty Counts

Tsarnaev150408I think it took close to thirty minutes for the court clerk to read all 99 answers on the thirty count verdict form. Enough time for two sketches, though done from a low resolution video monitor in the overflow courtroom since seating in the actual courtroom would have provided only a view of Tsarnaev from the back. Very frustrating.Tsarnaev150408Tsarnaev showed no emotion as the verdict was read. Most of the time he looked down at some papers, occasionally he shifted awkwardly bringing a hand up to his face or slipping it in his pocket for an instant. He has a strange way of movement, especially when he comes into the courtroom, swinging his shoulders up and down, side to side. I guess you’d say he was strutting.Tsarnaev150408

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Three Faces Of Dzhokhar

Tsarnaev150330We only see Tsarnaev from the back when seated in the courtroom, so I did these sketches from the video monitors in the overflow room.

Tsarnaev150330I’ll probably do this same thing when the verdict is announced in order to capture his reaction, or lack of it.

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Deliberations On Tsarnaev’s Guilt Begin

Tsarnaev SketchWith the outcome all but certain the prosecution in the Boston Marathon bombing trial was noticeably relaxed in the courtroom this morning before the jury assembled to begin deliberations.Tsarnaev150407There wasn’t a whole lot to do but wait. Tsarnaev sketchA US marshal, we’ll call him Steve, stood near two large Ellsworth Kelly paintings guarding the entrance to courtroom 9. And I had a chance to finish a little sketch I started on St. Patrick’s day.Tsarnaev sketch

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Tsarnaev Closing Argument Sketches

Tsarnaev150406Prosecutor Aloke Chakravarty gave a powerful closing argument today as the case against Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev goes to the jury after weeks of testimony.Tsarnaev150406

Tsarnaev150406The defense did the best they could, admitting that Dzhokhar planted the bomb at the marathon finish line while shifting most of the blame to his older brother, Tamerlan. But their strategy to save Dzhokhar’s life won’t fully come into play until the case moves into the death-penalty phase.Tsarnaev150406

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Tsarnaev Defense Rests

After a series of bench conferences during which, presumedly, a stipulation was hammered out, the jury was told that one of the victims of the Marathon bombing was a foreign citizen. Then the defense rested after calling just four witnesses.

A forensic computer expert testified that searches relating to the marathon, and Ruger handgun were made on Tamerlan’s Samsung computer, while most of the searches on Dzhokhar’s Vaio computer were related to social media.

An FBI fingerprint analyst, who was originally scheduled to testify for the prosecution but was instead called by the defense, said that the only prints that belonged to Dzhokhar were lifted from a plastic food container filled with explosive, while his brother Tamerlan’s prints were on a transmitter, a pressure cooker lid, a jar of nails, a caulking gun, rolls of duct tape and a soldering iron.

 

 

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Heartbreaking Conclusion To Government’s Case

The last witness called before the government rested its case against Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was the medical examiner who did the autopsy on eight-year-old Martin Richard. Martin’s parents were in the courtroom as the ME held up some of the clothing he was wearing when the bomb ripped his body apart.Also shown to the jury were nails, BB’s and shrapnel that was removed from Martin’s body.

Tsarnaev150330There were other witnesses, and the defense began their case. Here are the rest of today’s sketches.

 

 

 

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The Last Pieces Of The Puzzle

Prosecutors at the Tsarnaev trial today called an FBI chemist and FBI hazardous devices expert to who both testified about the explosive devices used in the marathon bombing and Watertown shootout. But one detail is still missing, where the bombs were assembled.

 

 

 

 

At the end of the day a medical examiner was called and jurors were shown autopsy photos of bombing victim Krystle Campbell.

 

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Building A Bomb At The Tsarnaev Trial

More testimony today from investigators who searched the Tsarnaev apartment and Dzhokhar’s dorm room where they found materials that could have been used to build the pressure cooker bombs.

 

 

Another FBI agent described efforts to track the movements of Dzhokhar and Tamerlan using GPS devices, store receipts and surveillance video.

And yet another agent told how they searched a landfill to find the backpack full of fireworks and other items from Dzhokhar’s room that his friend, Dias Kadyrbayev, threw into a dumpster.

The government is saving the best for last, so tomorrow should be interesting.

Boston Globe story here.

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Into The Home Stretch

With the government expected to rest on Thursday, the pace picked up at the trial of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. We heard from eight more witnesses, mostly FBI and State Police, on evidence gathering, ballistics and fingerprints.

Tomorrow the jury will be shown a mock-up of the pressure cooker bomb, and on Thursday they’ll see the autopsy photos. Expect a verdict next week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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