Katherine Russell, widow of Boston bombing suspect, hires criminal defense lawyer


The Boston Fire Department Hazardous Materials team clean the first blast site near the Boston Marathon finish line one week after the FBI handed over Boylston Street back to the city on April 22, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. A manhunt ended for Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing after he was apprehended on a boat parked on a residential property in Watertown, Massachusetts.


Kevork Djansezian

The widow of one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects has retained a prominent New York defense lawyer with experience representing terrorism suspects in court, her legal team said Wednesday. 

Katherine Russell hired Joshua Dratel, a criminal defense lawyer who has experience defending terrorism suspects in federal courts and military commissions including Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detainee David Hicks, who attended an al-Qaida-linked training camp in Afghanistan, the Associated Press reports. 

"Mr. Dratel's unique, specialized experience will help insure that Katie can assist in the ongoing investigation in the most constructive way possible," Russell's lead attorney Amato DeLuca said in a written statement.

Russell was married to bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, who was killed in a shootout with police.

Tsarnaev and his younger brother Dzhokhar, 19, are suspected of carrying out the attacks on the Boston Marathon last month that killed three people and injured 260. The brothers are also suspected of killing a campus police officer. 

Dzhokhar was captured hiding inside a boat in a backyard in Watertown, Mass., after a massive manhunt. He is now being held at the prison medical facility, Federal Medical Center Devens. 

Dzhokhar has told investigators that Russell was not involved in the planning or carrying out of the April 15 bombing. Her lawyers have said that the news her husband and brother-in-law were suspected of the bombing came as an "absolute shock" to her.

Investigators believe the bombs used in the attack were built at the home the older Tsarnaev shared with Russell and their two-year-old daughter though police could not match Russell's DNA to female DNA found on the bombs. 

Police are still investigating whether Russell played any role in the bombings but she has not been charged with any crime. 

"Katie plans to continue to meet with investigators, part of a series of meetings over many hours where she has answered questions," DeLuca said.