Dzhokar Tsarnaev, the 19-year-old suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing, has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction against persons and property within the U.S. resulting in death, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Monday afternoon.
“Although our investigation is ongoing, today’s charges bring a successful end to a tragic week for the city of Boston and for our country,” said Holder in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers remain with each of the bombing victims and brave law enforcement professionals who lost their lives or suffered serious injuries as a result of this week’s senseless violence.”
He was also been charged with malicious destruction of property by means of an explosive device resulting in death. If convicted, Tsarnaev faces the death penalty or life in prison.
Shortly before the charges were made public, the White House said that Dzhokhar would not be treated as an enemy combatant.
Tsarnaev remains hospitalized, recovering from gunshot injuries to the head, neck legs and hand, and had his initial court appearance from his hospital room today, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
He reportedly can’t speak because of his neck wound, but is answering officials’ questions through writing.
The charges come two days after Dzhokhar was found hiding in a boat in the backyard of a Watertown, Mass. home bleeding and in serious condition.
His capture was preceded by a dramatic shootout with police that killed his older brother and alleged accomplice in the bombing, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and a manhunt that shut down the Boston area Friday.