Tamerlan Tsarnaev, gone but not forgotten
By Cheryl Dean
GumshoeNews has recently published my reports about the prosecutorial misconduct of Carmen Ortiz at the Tsarnaev trial, and the hopelessness (or what looks to me to be the collusion) of the “Defense” team. That includes Judy Clarke and David “Three-Bags-Full-Sir” Bruck.
Today I wish to tackle the so-called proof that Tamerlan bought some pressure cookers, as the means of bombing the Marathon. I think everyone who “read about” the case was persuaded that there was good evidence of this purchasing. Didn’t the FBI find receipts in his wallet?
Well, OK, if you can swallow the story that a man on the run from the law would be carrying, in April, incriminating documents dated January, fine. (Don’t forget, he also had his high school diploma in the car….)
But for those who still like to embrace reality, it is a relief to look at the court testimony about that matter. Get ready to laugh because it is actually funny.
Few citizens know that the way in which the government tried to connect Tamerlan to the purchase of the pressure cookers was by displaying a GPS’s printout that showed someone (just “someone,” no named individual) making a journey from Cambridge to a shop in Saugus!
The emphasis in court was on the GPS device. Granted, such devices can track the itinerary of your car, or your person if it’s in your pocket. But as you will see, the GPS that reportedly recorded the offending trip to a shop did not have any claimed connection to the man in question, the late Tamerlan. Amazing, isn’t it?
The judge (Judge George “Give me anything, I’ll take anything” O’Toole) accepted as evidence of Tamerlan’s ownership of the GPS device, the mere fact that Dun Meng had referred to it!
Yes I do mean Danny, the weaver of the hopeless story of a carjacking (complete with an “I did it” boast by the fugitive Tamerlan, in which the people of Boston are now well versed).
Dun Meng testified in court — and had told the media much earlier — that Tamerlan had a GPS in his hands and was playing with it or programming it (remember that?), as he and Tamerlan sat in Dun Meng’s SUV.
Believe it or not, it was the Defense that seized upon this GPS idea as a way of showing that it was the deceased brother Tamerlan who was the real terrorist.
Yes, it was the defense that helped the people of Boston understand that Tamerlan had bought pressure cookers! It was touted by media, nonstop, that this was a brilliant way to save Jahar – blame everything on Tamerlan.
I will quote from the trial documents, starting with a sidebar. That is, when the two sides talk to the judge without the jury listening. Watkins is Defense; Weinreb is Prosecution. As you will see, the actual origin and ownership of the precious GPS is quite “up for grabs.”
From transcript #1567 Page 100-101. The bolding is mine:
WATKINS: In caps there it says “hijacked vehicle.” We pointed this out to the government a couple of times, that that part should be removed. It’s a GPS device; “hijacked vehicle” is –
MELLIN: In the vehicle that was hijacked.
WATKINS: It was found in the vehicle that was hijacked, but it’s a very confusing piece of –
THE COURT: Let me take a closer look. Do you have a paper copy of it? … Well, I wanted to read the writing. I thought I saw a paper copy earlier.
WEINREB: Can I just inquire, I’m not entirely sure whether the nature of the objection goes to a dispute about whether the Mercedes was actually carjacked by someone whether it’s –
WATKINS: It is both. There’s no necessity of putting it in “from hijacked vehicle.” It’s mostly confusing in that what happened is it was recovered from the Mercedes but it was actually used in other cars, and specifically in the CR-V and the Odyssey. [There is not a shred of evidence of this.]…
THE COURT: Who prepared the chart?
WEINREB: Someone at the FBI.
THE COURT: Not this guy
(FBI agent Fierabend who was on the witness stand)
CHAKRAVARTY: Particularly, the witness James Tyra has already authenticated the plots. [He means the travels of the GPS]
CLARKE: And when he did, we talked about changing the word “hijacked” to “Mercedes.” I thought Mr. Weinreb agreed to do that, that’s why he didn’t admit the exhibit at the time, because he was going to change it.
THE COURT: Well, go ahead.
WEINREB: I’m still not sure I understand whether the objection is that it’s misleading to say that it was recovered from the Mercedes because of the defense argument that it was used in other cars, or whether the objection is to just the word “highjacked,” in which case I’m not sure it’s really a well-taken objection because there’s no real prejudice to the defense from the idea that the Mercedes was carjacked, the car was abandoned in the middle of Spruce Street. I mean, maybe there’s a claim that the accused didn’t carjack it, but that’s different from saying that the vehicle itself wasn’t taken from its owner. [Yes, you must say hijack, it is so vital to your pathetic case.]
WATKINS: In general terms in a summary exhibit, which is what that is, there shouldn’t be those kinds of pejorative terms. Aside from that, it’s confusing to the jury to talk about it being recovered from a hijacked vehicle when the testimony is going to be as to these plots it was in a different vehicle. [Can you beat this?]
THE COURT: Well, I think the second part is a more substantial one, the possibility of confusion of the jury. I first thought that this was the Mercedes-Benz’s GPS.
WEINREB: That’s why I led him through the fact that it’s a Garmin nuvi that can be moved from car to car, but this is the vehicle from which it was recovered.
THE COURT: How do you tie — assuming that the jury understands that it’s not the Mercedes car, how do you tie it to the defendant? I mean, can you show what cars it was used in?
WEINREB: No. But there was testimony from Dun Meng that, I believe, that Tamerlan Tsarnaev had a GPS device in his hands that he was programming….
[Attention! Help! Somebody please! This is the City of Boston!]
WEINREB: Frankly, there’s no other way to tie it. Frankly, it’s a Garmin nuvi GPS that was found in the Mercedes. The truth is that the defense does not want to keep this information out, they want it in, because it tends to show that Tamerlan Tsarnaev is the one who bought the Fagor pressure cookers…
…Frankly, their goal is to make it as clear as possible that it was Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s GPS and I think they’re entitled to do that to the extent they can.
[So now we see the Prosecution helping the Defense. Well, why not. They really are one and the same anyway, aren’t they?]
…but I don’t think they’re entitled to preclude the government from identifying it in a factually correct way, which is a device recovered from this car. All the other charts identified the places by what car they were found in.
THE COURT: I don’t think there’s much doubt on the evidence that the Mercedes was taken from Dun Meng.
You can call that “hijacked.” ….
[Or you could call it doing what your handler tells you to do.]
WEINREB: Well, it has to be identified some way. We have identified all the portable GPS devices based on where they were recovered. If it just says “GPS” on it –
THE COURT: No, no, it can say Dun Meng’s
WEINREB: It has nothing to do with Dun Meng.
CLARKE: “Found in the Mercedes.”
WEINREB: “Found in the Mercedes”? Okay. That’s fine. Okay. Okay.
THE COURT: But for now I think we can just blow it by.
[Sure, why not, so what if it’s a death penalty case.]
WATKINS: So at least for now where the exhibit is going to go up to the jury, how can we fix it in front of the jury so they’re not –
THE COURT: I’m going to tolerate them seeing it now and — but when they have it more permanently –
WEINREB: I’ll ask a couple of questions to try to highlight it and hopefully that will take care of it.
WATKINS: That it was found in other cars.
WEINREB: No, not that.
THE COURT: That it was taken from Dun Meng
[Third time he mentions it was Dun Meng’s]
WATKINS: So how does the jury know it was in another car?
WEINREB: That’s for the defense to prove, quite frankly. I can’t guess it was in other cars. I don’t have any evidence of that.
THE COURT: Was it fingerprinted?
Mr. Weinreb: There were no fingerprints found on it. [Even though Dun Meng said Tamerlan had it in his hands]
THE COURT: Okay. All right.
WATKINS: Thank you
(End of sidebar)
MR WEINREB: So this would be a better one to highlight. So could you read that?
AGENT FIERABEND: “GPS stops at 8:13 p.m. near 1201 Broadway, Square One Mall, Saugus, Massachusetts. Travel resumes at 8:42 p.m.”
Q That narrative, those words obviously weren’t in the GPS, correct?
Q But there was data in the GPS that says, at least to some degree, where it stopped and what time it stopped there?
Q Okay. And then it traveled to some other locations and it winds up back on — after midnight near 397 Norfolk Street in Cambridge?
A That’s correct.
Q Okay. So let’s just return to the 8:13 stop.
I want to come away from the subject of GPS now in order to talk pressure cooker. But I believe that the real fraud is the way they’re speaking of a GPS as if they have evidence of Tamerlan having owned one in January. No they do not. The entire GPS notion is based on Danny’s claim that Tamerlan was playing with a GPS.
They also have no evidence of who did the purchasing of any Fangor pressure cookers. And yet this (along with outlandish backpack business) is supposed to be the key to the Marathon bombing. As you see from the testimony it’s all a sham.
WEINREB: And could I have Exhibit 1159 for the witness, please.
Q All right. Now, this is written in small letters, but did you review this recently?
A I did.
Q And so do you recognize it?
A I do.
Q The information, the purchase information you got from Macy’s, what form was it in? Was it a spreadsheet, a PDF?
A It was an Excel spreadsheet.
Q And it had all these purchases sorted by date and time?
Q So this thing you’re looking at here, is this an excerpt?
Q And is it a fair and accurate excerpt?
[There is nothing showing that this was a spreadsheet from Macy’s]
A I believe so.
WEINREB: The government offers 1159.
WATKINS: No objection.
THE COURT: Okay.
(Government Exhibit No. 1159 received into evidence.)
BY MR. WEINREB: So now I’m going to try to highlight it, at least the top portion… So the leftmost column .., just let me know, but what’s in the leftmost column?
A It’s the date.
Q And what date is this record for?
A It’s for January 31, 2013.
Q And what time?
A It’s 2038, or 8:38 p.m.
Q And what — where — all the way over near the right where it says where these Fagor pressure cookers were purchased, where does it say they were purchased?
A Square One [name of shop]
Q And the — they were purchased — under “associate,” that would be the — like the register who sold them, is it the same person?
A I believe the associate is the person and the register is the number. Fifty-one is the register.
Q The number of the register? And it indicates how many pressure cookers were purchased?
A Based on the SKUs, it appears there are two different size pressure cookers.
Q What sizes?
A Our investigation shows that the SKU’s were a six-quart pressure cooker and a four-quart pressure cooker.
Q So one of those three four-quart pressure cookers sold in Massachusetts during the relevant time period were sold on this date and time in Saugus, at the Square One Mall in Saugus, Mass.?
[Please remember we have no purchaser identified – ever. It is all a Danny extension so to speak. And you know how fake Danny is.]
Q And how does that compare to when that GPS that was found in the Mercedes was at the Square One Mall in Saugus?
A I believe the purchase is a few minutes before the GPS starts to move again.
[An American should have to hang for this?]
Q Okay. Does this data tell you what car the GPS was in at the time?
Q Does it tell you who was driving the car?
Q Does it tell you who might have been a passenger in the car?
Q Does it tell you who in the car, if anyone, actually purchased the pressure cooker?
Q Was there any surveillance video available from that Macy’s to help determine who might have actually purchased those pressure cookers?
Q So you can’t be sure who actually purchased them?
A Correct. I cannot be sure who actually purchased them. [Fine, then let the boy out of jail.] ….
Q Do you even know if that six-quart pressure cooker was one of the ones used on Boylston Street in the bombing?
As for the receipts turning up in Tamerlan’s wallet, I think the FBI should vary their formula once in a while and not plant receipts and ID all over the place. It’s getting so blatantly obvious and boring, so this just can’t be considered “evidence”.
Verdicts are supposed to be decided on actual proof, actual evidence, not the conjured up nonsense of attorneys. This is just one tiny example of the injustice perpetrated by all players in this sham trial.
It was easy to try to blame Tamerlan because he was deceased and couldn’t defend himself. Who actually did purchase the pressure cookers is still a mystery.
Or is it?
–Cheryl Dean’s most recent articles for GumshoeNews.com were one dated February 3, on Judge O’Toole’s meeting with the jurors, and one dated February 5, on what happened to Jahar at the side of the boat in Watertown. Dean does not engage in speculation; her source is the official trial record.