“How are you feeling?” a doctor, identified as Dr. Odom, asked. “Are you able to answer some questions?” Tsarnaev “nods affirmatively,’’ said the transcript, which added that the only word he spoke during the hearing was “no,” when asked whether he could afford a lawyer. William Fick, one of the defense lawyers, said he would reserve questions about bail and other matters, according to the transcript. The judge then ended the session, saying she found the defendant “alert, mentally competent, and lucid.”
An affidavit by FBI agent Daniel R. Genck that accompanied the complaint portrayed Tsarnaev as a relatively low-tech operative who was caught on the day of the marathon on multiple surveillance cameras. Genck described how Tsarnaev and his brother were captured on camera walking near the finish line April 15, both carrying large knapsacks. They stood together for several minutes, appearing to watch the race.
Tamerlan broke off and walked toward where the first improvised explosive device would soon detonate, Genck said. Three minutes later, Dzhokhar walked in the same direction, then stopped and slipped his knapsack onto the ground. He then stood looking at his cellphone, and even appeared to snap a picture with it.
About 30 seconds before the first explosion, Genck’s affidavit said, Dzhokhar, standing in front of a restaurant, lifted the phone to his ear as though he were speaking and held it there. The first bomb exploded. “Virtually every head turns to the east [toward the finish line] and stares in that direction in apparent bewilderment and alarm,’’ Genck said.
Dzhokhar, referred to in the complaint as “Bomber Two,’’ stood out. “[V]irtually alone among the individuals in front of the restaurant,’’ the affidavit said, he “appears calm.’’
He then rapidly walked away from the direction of the first explosion, his knapsack on the ground.
About 10 seconds later, the second bomb exploded where his knapsack had been, Genck said.
The document also provides details about the explosives used in the attack, saying they were “low-grade” and housed in pressure cookers that contained metallic BB’s and nails. Many of the BB’s were encased within an adhesive material, the complaint said, and several explosives discovered in a car the brothers used and at the scene of the shootout with police in Watertown, Mass., were similar.
Authorities were continuing a worldwide investigation of the marathon attack and looking into whether foreign or domestic terrorist groups helped. No evidence of such a connection has emerged, law enforcement officials said.
Authorities are trying to trace a handgun recovered from the suspects. Law enforcement sources said the effort has been delayed because the serial number was removed. Technicians are working to determine the numbers, after which the weapon will be traced by a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives facility in West Virginia.
New information also emerged about Tamerlan’s earlier brushes with the law.
Authorities in Massachusetts confirmed that they are investigating whether the elder brother may have been connected to a triple homicide in Waltham, Mass., in September 2011, prosecutors said. The Boston Globe reported that Tamerlan was friends with Brendan Mess, 25, one of three people found dead in an apartment on the afternoon of Sept. 12.
MaryBeth Long, a spokeswoman for the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office, told The Washington Post that authorities “will review any new information that may come to light in that case as a result of the investigation” of the marathon bombing.
Court records in Cambridge, Mass., meanwhile, showed that Tamerlan was arrested on charges of assault and battery in July 2009 after slapping a girlfriend. The incident occurred at his apartment on Norfolk Street after an argument between him and Nadine Ascencao over another woman, according to the incident report. The records indicate that the case was dismissed about six months later.
Jenna Johnson in Boston. Kathy Lally and Will Englund in Moscow and Ed O’Keefe, Jerry Markon, William Branigin, Greg Jaffe, Julie Tate and Joel Achenbach in Washington contributed to this report.