Boston Marathon bombing suspect is charged

BOSTON (AP) – Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was charged by federal prosecutors in his hospital room today with using a weapon of mass destruction to kill – a crime that carries a possible death sentence.

Officials have said Tsarnaev, 19, and his older brother set off the twin explosions at last week’s race that killed three people and wounded more than 180. His brother, Tamerlan, 26, died Friday after a fierce gunbattle with police.

Tsarnaev was listed in serious but stable condition at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, unable to speak because of a gunshot wound to the throat.

The charges represented a decision by the Obama administration to prosecute him in the federal court system instead of trying him as an enemy combatant in front of a military tribunal. Under the military system, defendants are not afforded some of the usual U.S. constitutional protections.