Tsarnaev Trial Witnesses: Day Five

Edited March 16, 2015

March 11, 2015:  Day Five
Exhibits → HERE

Continuation of Witness 34, Sara De Lair testimony, on direct:

The evidence that De Lair showed the courtroom during testimony:
1.  A shredded black and white backpack used in the bombing outside Forum restaurant.  According to @gailwaterhouse it was found “in the middle of Boylston.”  According to @AlyshaNECN, it was “at the edge of the crosswalk near Forum on Boylston St.”
2.  Multiple pictures of pieces of a pressure cooker.
3.  One piece of pressure cooker found in the street in front of the Atlantic Fish Co., twisted and charred.
4.  A 4″, green piece of wiring that was used as part of the detonator.
5.  A piece of fabric with the label, “Fox,” on it.  Fox is a brand name for backpacks.
6.  Jahar’s driver’s license and a video recorded by Jahar himself inside the backpack, confessing to the crime and why he did it.  Kidding, kidding.
7.  BB’s wrapped in paper, zippers, small nails, shrapnel, duct tape.

Cross Examination by the Defense:
There was styrofoam-like paper inside the backpack and Judy Clark asked De Lair if it had been fingerprinted.  De Lair didn’t know.  Clark also asked questions about some shredded cardboard and duct tape.  She wanted to clarify for the jury that these two items were found at separate crime scenes.  No idea why.

Witness 35:  FBI Agent Chad Fitzgerald
Welcome to the world of cellphones.  If you have a question about cellular connections, Mr. Fitzgerald is your guy.  He came to Boston after the bombings and stayed for a week.  He was asked to look at Jahar’s phone records around Christmas, 2012 and both Jahar and Tamerlan’s phone records the week following the bombing.  His testimony included cellphone towers, cellphone tower fingerprints, cell companies, signals, batons, and *yawn”…let’s move on.  And let me preface this with I’m kinda confused about the whole cellphone situation.  Especially after yesterday’s testimony.  Here goes:

1.  617-289-9151 (burner phone registered to Jahar None Tsarni, used during the bombings)
2.  One phone that was turned off before the bombings for lack of payment
3.  I believe he had a second burner phone he used after the bombings

1.  857-928-4634 (burner phone used during the bombings)
2.  617-893-1954 (phone record exhibit shows Jahar called this number at 8:17pm on April 18, 2013.  Testimony said he was calling his brother.  I question if this was his brother’s phone.)

April 15, 2013
2:49pm:  Jahar uses his burner phone for the first time that day.  He called Tamerlan, the call lasted 8 seconds.  Tamerlan received this call in the area of Marathon Sports.

2:51pm:  Tamerlan called Jahar.  Tamerlan appeared to be further north at the time of this call.

2:53pm:  Jahar called Tamerlan.  Fitzgerald testified that both phones appeared to be in the same cell sector; just north of Boylston, near Newbury and Berkley Street.

3:14pm:  Tamerlan called in the area of Central Square, Cambridge (near Whole Foods).

3:30pm:  Tamerlan called in an area further north in Cambridge. **added** Was Tamerlan calling Matanov?  It appears he was according to www.bostonmagazine.com.  I quote, “It was mere coincidence, he claimed, that at 3:31pm, some 40 minutes after the explosions, Matanov called Tamerlan, who said he was in a store buying milk.”  They made plans for dinner that evening. → HERE

8:30-8:45pm:  Tamerlan’s phone was very active.  I’m not sure if he was calling from North Cambridge or he was calling North Cambridge.

10:20pm:  Tamerlan made a call from 410 Norfolk Ave.

April 16, 2013:
– Tamerlan’s phone located in Cambridge
– Jahar’s phone mostly in the New Bedford area, near UMass.

April 17, 2013:
– Tamerlan made multiple calls in the Boston area the entire day.
– Jahar’s phone pinged to UMass most of the day.

April 18, 2013:
Both phones made calls in Cambridge

5pm to 7:30pm:  Tamerlan’s phone pinged near his home on Norfolk in Cambridge.

In the evening, Tamerlan made multiple phone calls, Jahar made one.  It’s the first phone call Jahar made since marathon Monday

One tweet went out that at some point, Tamerlan was in Allston and made a call to Jahar who was in West Cambridge/Watertown.

8:17pm:  Jahar called his brother.  Although it’s up for debate in my book if that phone number was actually Tamerlan’s.

11:00pm:  Tamerlan called Jahar.  Records show Jahar was on the Cambridge side of the Charles River at the time of the call.  Tamerlan was on the other side.  One tweet said that the last call made between the brothers showed them at 45 Laurel Street in Watertown.  Yup, I’m just as confused.

One interesting tidbit that came out of Fitzgerald’s testimony was when he said that a witness told them they had seen the bombing suspects at Whole Foods.  Of course we were not told when this happened and the defense never asked him on cross.

Cross Examination by the Defense
During cross, Fitzgerald told the court that he only wrote one draft for his 14-page document and that any emails exchanged with the prosecution were merely about logistics, they had “no substance.”  Other than that, the only thing the defense really went after was the extraction times of calls between Jahar and Tamerlan.  For example, although phone records for the call made at 2:49pm on April 15, 2013, show it lasted 19 seconds, in actuality, taking into account lag time, the call only lasted 8 seconds.

The prosecution reminded the jurors that the call at 2:49pm was the first call Jahar made the day of the bombings on the burner phone.  Just a head’s up that someone tweeted it appeared Jahar had made some international calls the day before.  The phone numbers that appear to be international calls are actually iPhone charges that happen when you either disconnect Facetime or reboot your phone.  I’m not sure which.  So, if he did make international calls the night before, the government didn’t disclose it in their exhibit.


Witness 36:  Chief John DiFava
MIT Chief for 14 years.  He was with the Massachusetts State Police for 28 years, retired as colonel and joined MIT.

DiFava testified about Collier’s gun and holster.  Collier was carrying a Smith and Wesson .45 pistol in a medium-level, triple threat, Safari Land Holster.  The last time DiFava saw Collier was at 9:30pm on Thursday evening at which time he told him to be safe.


Witness 37:  Officer David Sacco
MIT officer.  Has worked there since 2002.

Sacco testified that he was working the same shift as Collier the night he was shot.  He was texting with Collier earlier in the evening and at 10:20pm a 911 call came in describing loud banging or possible gunshots.  The caller indicated there was a police cruiser outside in the vicinity of the noises.  Sacco tried to get a hold of Collier and @bostonjustice tweeted, “There became an amount of time that wasn’t comfortable.”  MIT Officer Henniger headed over to Collier’s location and, upon finding him, called out on police radio  “Officer down, officer down.”  Sacco testified he called for an ambulance and notified other police agencies.

No cross by the defense.

Witness 38:  Sgt. Clarence Henniger

Henniger was working the night Collier was and last saw Collier’s cruiser at 10:20pm.  Henniger didn’t notice anything unusual.  When Henniger got back to the station and realized no one could get a hold of Collier, he made his way back to MIT.  When he got there, Collier’s car was running with the lights on and the driver’s door open.  He saw blood everywhere inside the car.  When other officers arrived, they tried to get Collier out of the car but it was difficult:  his foot was jammed between the gas and break pedals and he was so bloody it was hard to hold onto him.  Henniger testified that he tried to ask Collier who shot him but Collier was unconscious at that point.  The officers tried to perform CPR on him, but to no avail.   Henniger said he took Collier’s gun and belt to make sure it was secure.

No cross by the defense.

No cross?  Seriously?  No cross?  The one officer that came out in interviews to say the feds already knew who Jahar and Tamerlan were before Collier was shot and they don’t cross-examine him?  Wow.  Just…wow.

Witness 39:  Officer Brendan O’Hearn
O’Hearn is a Cambridge Police Department detective.  The night Collier was killed, he responded to a robbery at the 7-11 in Central Square and then responded to the call about Collier.  He attempted to perform CPR on Collier.

No cross by the defense.

Witness 40:  Matthew Isgur
Isgur maintains the video surveillance system at MIT and he was called in to access the system on April 18, 2013.  Isgur confirmed that Collier was shot in an area called the “North court.”  He also confirmed the location of cameras on campus and that he pulled the video from Building 54 between 10 and 11pm on April 18, 2013.  Officer Sacco was the first officer to watch the surveillance tape with Isgur.

The surveillance video from MIT was shown in court.  You can watch it → HERE

Okay, besides the fact that the surveillance tape in no way distinguishes who shot Officer Collier, the video begs the question of who was running literally right next to the two figures running away from Collier’s car as they rounded the building.  You can see these figures run up from the bottom of the screen, continue to the top, and, at one point, run literally right next to the figures that have run away from Collier’s car (who are walking at this point).  It appears one of the figures running up from the bottom of the screen is wearing a white hat.  Not that any of this matters based on the defense’s opening statements, right?  Right.  But come on, you have two people who were there moments after the gunshots, feet away from the shooters but no witnesses besides a guy that rode his bike by Collier’s car?  Okay.

Furthermore, earlier in the tape, after the shooting, you see another figure that comes up from the grassy area, walks a few feet away from Collier’s open driver door (after Henniger has already arrived) and then saunters down the street.  Huh?  Why aren’t we shown the minutes between Collier being shot and the time until police arrived?

The prosecution asked Isgur about another video surveillance tape from Ames Street.  Isgur confirmed there was a camera there and that he pulled video from that camera, as well.  The prosecution submitted the video as evidence but didn’t play it.

No cross by the defense.

Witness 41:  Nate Harmon
This is the guy that rode his bike by Collier’s car.  He’s a grad student in mathematics at MIT, third year.  He testified that he rides through the North court often because it’s well-lit and safe.  The night of April 18, 2013, Harmon was working late and left his office on his bike around 10:20pm.

Let’s start with Harman’s demeanor on the stand:
“Harmon looks nervous.” @hollybdc
“Keeps glancing down nervously toward #Tsarnaev” @hollybdc
“Harmon, clearly nervous.  Keeps glancing over at #Tsarnaev.” @wburLive
“Harmon appears jumpy on the stand.” @GarrettQuinn
“Harmon appears quite nervous on the stand.” @GarrettQuinn
“Harmon is really nervous.” @hollybdc
“Harmon’s hands are visibly shaking as he grabs coffee and takes a sip.” @GarrettQuinn

As to his testimony:

– When he passed Collier’s car, he noticed the driver’s door open and someone leaning into it.
– He testified he only saw one person at the car.
– He testified that the guy leaning into the car looked directly at him, appeared startled.

Description of the guy leaning into the car:
– “Young, normal height, thin” according to @GlobeCullen
– “Young, dark, thin” according to @lilsarg
– was wearing a sweatshirt with something on the front of it
– big nose, shorter than him (Harman is 6′)
– was wearing a knit cap

Some tweets said that Harman testified the guy was white while others tweeted he said “dark.”  Also, I didn’t see any tweets about what color knit cap Harmon saw this guy wearing the night of the murder and some said he didn’t remember a bill being on the cap.  Yet, when the prosecution put up a picture of Jahar wearing a white/tan cap and a sweatshirt with white lettering, Harman identified Jahar in court, identified the cap and said that the picture of Jahar “could definitely be the guy he saw.”

Could or is?

Harman testified that at the time he rode by he laughed because he thought it was funny how startled the guy was when he came upon him.

Okay, here’s the video of Harmon riding his bike by Collier’s cruiser (and tell me how this guy didn’t hear gunshots). → HERE click on the mit_koch-harmon.wmv video

No cross by the defense.

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  1. Llama- the 11 pm 4/18 call is interesting. If DT is on cambridge side how did TT get to Allston unless he’s dropped off and DT goes back to cambridge side. That doesn’t make much sense but then what does in this?

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. I am shock I was been clean move forward i remember Jahar is my ex friend he turn bad guys He is been clean guys Loss pound I am not expect Jahar sorry his loss try hurt me I am not available found love with I want myself focus Move on I am not interested in I am myself move on like here united state make me feel move on make me feel great update ever

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