Federal prosecutors prepared criminal charges on Sunday against an ethnic Chechen college student suspected in the deadly Boston Marathon bombings as he lay severely wounded, unable to speak and hospitalized under heavy guard two days after his dramatic capture.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, whose tongue was injured in a gunshot to the throat before his arrest, was initially under sedation and incapable of being interviewed by investigators, authorities said. He also had been shot in the leg.
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But the ABC and NBC news networks reported late on Sunday that Tsarnaev had regained consciousness and was responding in writing to questions put to him by authorities, who are seeking to determine if the suspects they have identified acted alone.
Thermal imaging camera shows Dzhokhar hiding in boat
Authorities found many unexploded homemade bombs at the scene of the brothers' gun battle early Friday with police, along with more than 250 rounds of ammunition.
The stockpile was "as dangerous as it gets in urban policing," Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said. "We have reason to believe, based upon the evidence that was found at that scene - the explosions, the explosive ordnance that was unexploded and the firepower that they had - that they were going to attack other individuals," he told CBS.
Davis told Fox News that authorities cannot be positive there are not more explosives somewhere that have not been found. But he insisted the people of Boston are safe.
Tsarnaev could be charged any day. The most serious charge available to federal prosecutors would be the use of a weapon of mass destruction to kill people, which carries a possible death sentence. Massachusetts does not have the death penalty.
US officials said an elite interrogation team would question Tsarnaev, a college student, without reading him his Miranda rights, which guarantees the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. Such an exception is allowed on a limited basis when the public may be in immediate danger, such as instances in which bombs are planted and ready to go off.
The federal public defender's office in Massachusetts said it has agreed to represent Tsarnaev once he is charged.
AP and Reuters contributed to this report
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