Yesterday, the grand jury handed down the indictment to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, for the events that took place at the Boston Marathon and shortly thereafter.
Read: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Indicted by Grand Jury on 30 Counts (ILLUME Magazine)
Tsarnaev and his older brother both allegedly placed two pressure cooker bombs at the Boston Marathon, resulting in mass casualty and three deaths.
The indictment is Tsarnaev's first real step towards his eventual trial, if he even has one.
Here's what you need to know about Dzhokar Tsarnaev and his charges:
The grand jury indictment isn't a decision on guilt. In legal procedure, a grand jury indictment is a procedure that simply states that there is enough evidence to proceed to trial. Once the case goes to trial, then the trial jury (not the grand jury) must decide whether Tsarnaev is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's confession was used as evidence. The indictment is based in an apparent confession by Tsarnaev, which he reportedly left in a boat where he was found hiding. The confession reads in part:
"I don't like killing innocent people," and "We Muslims are one body, you hurt one you hurt us all," according to the indictment.
He also allegedly wrote, "Stop killing Muslims and we will stop."
The Tsarnaev brothers bought supplies to make bombs on the Internet. The indictment refers to the fact that the Tsarnaev brothers used the Internet to order parts to create the pressure cooker bombs, although it doesn't go into great detail on the issue. We can only presume that the issue will be raised in court, if there is a trial.
The Tsarnaev brothers engaged in target practice. The indictment points to a visit by the Tsarnaev brothers to a firing range a few weeks before the attack. Interestingly, there is no mention of their visit to the gym, which garnered quite a bit of media attention a few weeks back.
What's next for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev? It's hard to say. With such apparently solid evidence against him, Tsarnaev might be presented with a plea deal. In that case, his attorneys might urge him to settle out of court. His arraignment date has been set for July. Then, he will answer to the charges and enter his plea. Until then, it's a nail biter.