The prosecution in a case peripheral to the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of two men accused of committing the April 15, 2013 bombing of the Boston Marathon, have released video showing the younger Tsarnaev returning to a college dorm nonchalantly and exhibiting no signs of fear of being arrested.
The video footage has been released as part of the trial of Azamat Tazhayakov, a friend of Tsarnaev’s who is being charged as an accomplice to the bombing. Tazhayakov is being accused specifically of removing a backpack filled with fireworks emptied of black powder from Tsarnaev’s dorm room and the remains of tools Tsarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan, allegedly used to make the pressure cooker bombs. Both Tsarnaev and Tazhayakov appear in the video, taken from surveillance footage at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth campus hours after the attack. They appear calm, chatting and smiling on their way into the dorm.
According to the Boston Globe, the video is one of three shown to the jury to prove that Tazhayakov was involved as a minor figure in the Boston Marathon bombing. The newspaper also notes that the defense is arguing that Tazhayakov–who, like Tsarnaev, is also 20 years old–never spoke to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev about the bombing, even though they saw each other hours after the incident occurred.
The prosecution rested its case on Monday, and jurors are expected to deliberate on the verdict beginning Wednesday. This trial would determine whether Tazhayakov was involved in the conspiracy to bomb the Boston Marathon in a minor way, not whether Dzhokhar Tsarnaev masterminded the plot with his brother. Showing the video is an attempt to prove to the jury that Tazhayakov was simply too close to Tsarnaev to not know.
Tsarnaev himself is expected to go on trial in November, though attorneys for the alleged bomber are attempting to move the trial out of Massachusetts to Washington, D.C. The attorneys, according to the Associated Press, filed a written request in court today to file additional materials to argue for the case being moved out of Massachusetts, where, they argue, a jury will be too familiar with news coverage of the Boston Marathon case and biased against Tsarnaev. The additional materials they hope to file are expected to include polls and surveys of Boston residents on the matter and analysis of media coverage proving the jury pool is too tainted for a fair trial.