Father of 8-Year-Old Boston Bombing Victim Faces Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in Court

In his harrowing testimony, William Richard describes the day his son was killed

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His eyes focused, his voice steady, William Richard took the stand on Thursday to testify against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the man accused of murder in the Boston Marathon bombings.

Showing remarkable composure, Richard sat 10 feet away from the defendant as he testified about the worst day of his life. On April 15, 2013, the bombings claimed the life of his 8-year-old son, Martin. His 6-year-old daughter, Jane, lost part of her leg in the attack.

When the second bomb detonated, Richard knew that the situation was dire.

“I saw my son alive, barely, for the last time,” he testified, according to the Boston Herald. “I saw a little boy who had been severely damaged by an explosion. I just knew, from what I saw, that there was no chance.”

Painfully, he made a choice: to leave Martin’s side to tend to his daughter, who still had a chance of survival. Video footage showed him struggling to pick Jane up and take her to the hospital.

“When I saw Martin, I knew he wasn’t going to make it,” Richard testified. “I needed to go to the ambulance with Jane.”

“It was then that I noticed her leg and I picked her up,” Richard recalled. “She didn’t have it. It was blown off.” He carried Jane into the street, and paramedics took her to an ambulance.

Richard said that his initial instinct was to cover the eyes of his 11-year-old son, Henry, to shield him from the chaotic scene. He got into the ambulance to accompany Jane to the hospital. He received a call from his wife a few minutes later. “She told me that Martin was dead,” he recalled. “I told her, ‘I know.’ ”

The harrowing testimony gripped the hushed courtroom, where 12 jurors and six alternates will decide Tsarnaev’s fate.

According to The Boston Globe, Tsarnaev looked away from the witness stand. He watched the video monitors displaying images of the carnage.

A photo on the monitor showed Richard lifting a barricade off his wife and children. His wife, Denise, lost sight in one eye. His other son, Henry, suffered no long-term injuries.

William Richard still suffers hearing loss, but he showed a steely resolve on the witness stand. “I can still hear you,” he told the prosecutor. “And I can still hear the beautiful voices of my family.”

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