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Testimony turns to MIT officer’s death in bombing trial

By Milton J. Valencia

Nathan Harman , recounting his story publicly for the first time on Wednesday, told a federal jury that he was riding his bike through the MIT campus in Cambridge one night two years ago when he came upon a strange figure.

The man was leaning into a police cruiser. The driver’s-side door was open, and the window down. “He sort of popped up, stood up, and turned around. He looked startled,” said Harman, a 24-year-old graduate student.

The person was thin, and tall, but not as tall as Harman, who is six feet. He had a sweater with an emblem on the front, was wearing a hat, and something about his nose was remarkable.

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In federal court in Boston Wednesday, a visibly nervous Harman saw that man again: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving Boston Marathon bomber. Harman pointed and declared, “That’s him, he has a blue shirt on.”

Harman told his story as prosecutors focused on the night of April 18, 2013, when MIT police officer Sean Collier was fatally shot by Tsarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan.

The brothers tried to take Collier’s service weapon but failed, and fled the scene.

Harman did not see the shooting, but it appears he rode by moments after it happened. He said he thought nothing of his encounter at the time.

But several other witnesses who testified Wednesday recounted an emergency call reporting loud bangs on campus. Video surveillance taken from a nearby building shows two figures creeping toward Collier’s cruiser, just as Harman was riding by. And police officers described how they arrived to find Collier tilting to the side, a wound in his temple, his neck, and on his right hand.

 

Read More:  https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/03/11/more-testimony-about-crime-scene-investigation-expected-boston-marathon-bombing-trial/lY4Sm3ljC59FWJLUWXkh3L/story.html

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