Marathon bomber’s lawyers give jury glimpse into family life

Published 10:24 am Wednesday, May 6, 2015

BOSTON — Lawyers for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are giving the jury glimpses into his troubled family as they try to save him from the death penalty.

A psychiatrist testified Tuesday that he diagnosed Tsarnaev’s father with post-traumatic stress disorder after he reported being tortured in a Russian camp during the Chechen wars with Russia in the 1990s.

Dr. Alexander Niss said Anzor Tsarnaev reported having panic attacks, flashbacks, anxiety and paranoia while he was treating him in Boston from 2003 to 2005. Niss said he also complained of headaches, dizziness, nosebleeds and other physical ailments, and during one phase of his treatment, was going to the emergency room almost every day.

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“He was a sick guy,” Niss said.

The testimony came during the penalty phase of Tsarnaev’s trial, when the federal jury will decide whether the 21-year-old should get the death penalty or life in prison