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May 6, 2015 5:52 PM

Latest on Boston trial: Prison consultant describes Supermax

The Associated Press

5:40 p.m.

A retired federal prison warden and prison consultant has described communication restrictions that Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehv) would likely live under in a Supermax prison.

Mark Bezy testified Wednesday for the defense in Tsarnaev's federal death penalty trial.

Bezy says Tsarnaev's communications are now restricted under a procedure known as Special Administration Measures. He says the measures would likely continue for Tsarnaev at a Supermax facility in Florence, Coloardo.

Under the measures, Bezy says, Tsarnaev's mail, phone calls and visitors are limited to only immediate relatives approved by the FBI. Calls are recorded and monitored, and mail is read.

During cross-examination, Bezy says the special restrictions would lapse unless the U.S. attorney general renews them on an annual basis and the restrictions can be eased over time.


5:30 p.m.

A federal official has testified that he and a supervisor went to talk to Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev after he gave the middle finger to a camera and he apologized for it.

Deputy U.S. Marshal Kevin Roche testified Wednesday in Tsarnaev's federal death penalty trial. The defense has been working to diffuse the image of Tsarnaev giving the middle finger to a camera in his cell the day he was arraigned in the 2013 bombings.

Prosecutors have said the photo shows Tsarnaev was unrepentant about the bombings. The defense says it was simply an immature gesture.

Roche says he and the supervisor asked Tsarnaev afterward "if he was going to continue to be a problem." Roche testified that Tsarnaev responded: "No, I'm done. I'm sorry."


2:10 p.m.

The defense in the Boston Marathon bombing trial has called an expert in adolescent brain development to the stand in the hope of convincing jurors that Dzhkohar Tsarnaev's young age is a mitigating factor in the attacks.

Dr. Jay Giedd said Wednesday that the part of the brain associated with impulse control and long-range planning can develop until 25 to 30. Tsarnaev was 19 when he and his 26-year-old brother planted twin bombs near the finish line of the 2013 marathon, killing three people and injuring more than 260.

Giedd says, "Teens are more likely to choose the smaller, sooner reward, less worried about longer-term consequences."

He acknowledged that there are huge variations in brain development. During cross-examination, he said children even younger than teenagers can understand consequences.


11:30 a.m.

The former brother-in-law of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev says Tsarnaev's older brother and mother were influenced by an Armenian man who has converted to Islam.

Elmirza Khozhugov testified Wednesday from the U.S. Embassy in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Khozhugov says the man named Misha often visited the Tsarnaev apartment in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to talk to Tamerlan about Islam. He says one night Tamerlan's father wanted to take a shower, but the mother stopped him because he would have to walk through the kitchen, where Misha was talking with Tamerlan.

Khozhugov says the mother told him not to interrupt because Misha was teaching Tamleran "good things."

He says Tamerlan quit boxing, stopped acting classes and stopped playing and listening to music after Misha said those things were inappropriate in Islam.


10:35 a.m.

The former brother-in-law of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is testifying for the defense from a U.S. Embassy in Kazakhstan.

Elmirza Khozhugov is the former husband of Dzhokhar's sister Ailina Tsarnaeva. He testified live Wednesday from the embassy in Almaty.

Khozhugov says the oldest Tsarnaev sibling, Tamerlan, had a very close relationship with Dzhokhar. He says Tamerlan sometimes struggled to find the words to express how much he loved Dzhokhar and how he would do anything to make him successful.

In turn, Khozhugov says, Dzkokhar adored Tamerlan and went along with him on outings.

The defense has tried to portray Tamerlan as the mastermind of the 2013 bombings.

Tamerlan died days after the bombing. Jurors will soon to decide whether Dzhokhar will be sentenced to death.


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