As he lay seriously wounded in a hospital bed, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was charged by a federal magistrate judge with using a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death and malicious destruction of property resulting in death. If convicted, the 19-year-old could face the death penalty.

“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,” Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday. “We’ve once again shown that those who target innocent Americans and attempt to terrorize our cities will not escape from justice. We will hold those who are responsible for these heinous acts accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

The development comes after White House press secretary Jay Carney said that Tsarnaev would not be designated an enemy combatant and would be tried in federal courts.

Boston.com:

Pointing to other terrorists who have been tried and convicted in federal court, he said, “The system has repeatedly proven that it can successfully handle the threat that we continue to face.”

He also said that US citizens cannot be tried before military commissions. Tsarnaev is a naturalized US citizen. He was sworn in as a citizen in September.

Carney also said President Obama “has been, and will continue to be” updated regularly on the bombing investigation.

Tsarnaev is now in the custody of the US Marshals Service at the hospital, a law enforcement source said.

Read more

— Posted by Tracy Bloom.

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