WATCH ABOVE: Footage of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev held in jail cell submitted as evidence
TORONTO – Was it the obscene gesture of a teenager peering into a mirror or the symbol of a callous terrorist found guilty of killing three people and wounding 260 others?
An image taken from video released publicly Wednesday, shows Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev looking into a security camera in his jail cell before putting up his middle finger.
The video was recorded just three months after Tsarnaev and his brother Tamerlan detonated two bombs made from pressure cookers near the finish line of the Boston Marathon killing three people, including an eight-year-old boy, and injuring 260 others. Tamerlan was killed in a police shootout following a three-day manhunt after the bombing and Tsarnaev was convicted earlier this month on 30 counts related to the attacks.
Prosecutors who showed the image to a jury Tuesday said it showed he was “unrepentant and unchanged” in the weeks after the bombing.
On Wednesday, Tsarnaev’s defence team argued he was using the camera as a mirror. In the video he can be seen playing with his hair before giving the finger.
Defence lawyer Miriam Conrad pointed to Tsarnaev being a teenager at the time the video was recorded when questioning Assistant U.S. Marshal Gary Oliveira.
“How old was he at that time?” she asked.
Oliveira said he was unaware.
“You don’t know that he was 19 years old?” Conrad responded.
The penalty phase of the case began Tuesday, in which the same jury that convicted Tsarnaev will decide whether he should be executed.
*With files from The Associated Press