WASHINGTON (AFP) - Teenage Boston bomb suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on Monday was charged with using a weapon of mass destruction and could face the death penalty if convicted, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) said.
Tsarnaev, 19, also has been charged with one count of malicious destruction of property by means of deadly explosives, the DOJ said in a statement. He was arraigned in his hospital bed, where he remains in serious condition.
The federal charges “authorise a penalty, upon conviction, of death or imprisonment for life or any term of years,” the statement said.
“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 Attorney General Eric Holder.
“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.”
Tsarnaev and his older brother Tamerlan, 26, who was killed in a shootout with police, are accused of the twin bombing at the Boston Marathon one week ago, which killed three people and wounded some 180 others.