fuck this kid With relatives on stand, Tsarnaev shows emotion JANE FLAVELL COLLINS/EPA An artist’s depiction of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s aunt, Shakhruzat Suleimanov (right), testifying with an interpreter during the sentencing phase of Tsarnaev's trial. By Patricia Wen, Kevin Cullen, Milton J. Valencia and John R. Ellement Globe Staff May 04, 2015 Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who has remained impassive throughout his federal death penalty trial as the horrors of the 2013 terror attack were portrayed, appeared to shed tears Monday as one of his aunts broke down on the witness stand. After another tearful aunt testified, he blew her a kiss. Tsarnaev appeared to become emotional when his aunt Patimat Suleimanova, a stout 64-year-old woman with gray hair, cried and hyperventilated, struggling with her emotions so much that she was unable to testify. Tsarnaev reached for the box of tissues on the defense table and appeared to wipe tears from his own eyes and cheeks. After another aunt, Shakhruzat Suleimanova, testified, she took a seat, sobbing in the courtroom. When the trial broke for lunch, she stretched herself over a wooden railing toward him. As he was led out of the courtroom by US marshals, he stopped, turned, looked toward her and blew her a kiss. Four of Tsarnaev’s relatives — Shakhruzat Suleimanova and her three adult daughters — testified during the sentencing phase of the 21-year-old terrorist’s death penalty trial. Patimat Suleimanova, the aunt who appeared to make Tsarnaev cry, did not return to the stand before court concluded for the afternoon. Monday’s testimony also included a recollection by one of Suleimanova’s daughters that Tsarnaev was a sensitive child who wept while watching the animated movie “The Lion King.” Federal prosecutors, who say Tsarnaev is a remorseless terrorist, want the US District Court jury to sentence him to death. The defense is hoping to humanize him and convince the panel to sentence him to life without the possibility of parole. The April 15, 2013, bombing near the Marathon finish line killed three people and injured more than 260 others. Tsarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan, who had turned to radical Islam, also murdered an MIT police officer and hurled bombs and fired at police in a showdown in Watertown several days later. Tamerlan was killed in the showdown when he was shot by police and run over by his fleeing brother. Shakhruzat Suleimanova testified that she was the mother figure in her family because their mother was ill with cancer. She said she played that role especially with her younger sister, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, Tsarnaev’s mother. Suleimanova testified she and Zubeidat were so close that on her wedding day, Zubeidat hid under the table and pleaded with her to return home and not live with her husband. Suleimanova testified that she last saw her nephew Dzhokhar Tsarnaev when he was 8 years old and in the second grade. “He was a very good boy. Quiet. Shy,’’ she testified with the help of a translator. “When someone told me something, he was so shy he’d turn his face away. His family was a good family.” Suleimanova testified that when the Tsarnaevs moved to the United States, many in her family were heartbroken because it was so far away from them. She said she was certain that Zubeidat Tsarnaeva’s children were peaceful people. “They wouldn’t hurt a fly,’’ she testified. “My sister’s children were such good children.” Raisat Suleimanova, the daughter of Shakhruzat Suleimanova, testified that her cousin was a cheerful, sensitive child who cried during the animated movie “The Lion King.’’ “He was a sunny child. ... If you looked at him, you would want to smile, even if you didn’t feel good at that time,’’ said Suleimanova. “I could only say good things about Dzhokhar.” US Public Defender Office A photo of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was prevented as evidence by the defense in the case. The defense has called more than 20 witnesses, most of whom underwent only minimal cross-examination from federal prosecutors. But Suleimanova was challenged by Assistant US Attorney William Weinreb, who drew fierce opposition from the defense when he asked her how someone could cry at a movie but remain indifferent to the deaths of innocents. Raisat Suleimanova described the relationship of Tsarnaev’s parents, Anzor and Zubeidat. The defense has said the couple suffered from mental illness that allowed the older brother, Tamerlan, to assume an outsized role in the family — and allowed him to pull his younger brother into committing the terror attack. “Anzor was crazy in love with Zubeidat. Crazy, crazy in love with her. He wouldn’t go anywhere without her,’’ she testified. “She always wanted everything to be ideal for life, to be beautiful. ... She was loud.’’ Suleimanova said the Tsarnaev family moved so often when they were living in Russia that the family called them “gypsies.’’ She said the Tsarnaevs lived in Siberia, Kyrgyzstan, Chechnya, and Dagestan before they moved to the United States. Several of Tsarnaev’s relatives described the transformation of Zubeidat Tsarnaeva from someone who loved to wear bright clothes into a woman who had by 2010 shifted to wearing black as the once-moderate Muslim became more immersed in her Islamic faith. “She used to be such a fashionable person, wearing bright clothes,’’ Suleimanova testified. “It was a shock to me. Knowing what kind of person Zubeidat used to be, it was a shock to see that.’’ “I came for the sake of my brother, who I love very much,’’ testified Suleimanova, 35, who said she had never traveled outside Russia before. (She said she referred to her male cousins as “brothers.”) “He’s part of my family. I had no right not to come here.’’ Suleimanova stressed that she did not support the bombing. She said Tsarnaev’s “kindness made everyone around him” kind as well. “And that’s not because he’s my cousin.’’ She recalled the time he stayed with a strict aunt. “We couldn’t go out of bounds with her,” she said. But Tsarnaev “could do whatever he wanted, and she allowed him to do whatever he wanted. … She said herself, ‘This child changed me.’” It wasn’t clear which aunt she was referring to. Raisat’s sister, Naida Suleimanova, said that in 2012 she learned that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Tsarnaev’s older brother, had become a radical jihadist. “I was very happy to see my brother,’’ Naida Suleimanova said of meeting with Tamerlan. “But I had two conflicting feelings. ... We were told he was adhering to some radical Islam. I was afraid.” While she was on the stand, the defense played a brief audio recording of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, apparently made around 2012 when he visited Dagestan in Russia in what witnesses have described as an attempt to connect with jihadists. “I have this rage of hatred inside me,’’ Tamerlan Tsarnaev said in Russian on the tape. “Somehow deep down in my heart I don’t believe that the caliphate will be established in my lifetime.’’ The relatives arrived in Boston last month and were expected to take the stand in US District Court in Boston on Thursday, but a juror became ill and US District Court Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. suspended the trial until Monday. Federal authorities have said the FBI has assigned 16 staffers to guard the relatives around the clock since their arrival. Tsarnaev, a graduate of Cambridge Rindge and Latin School and a former student at UMass Dartmouth, was convicted last month of 30 charges. The jury must now decide in the second phase of the trial whether Tsarnaev should be sentenced to death; 17 of the 30 counts allow for capital punishment. This phase began April 21 and is expected to last about two more weeks. The defense contends that Tamerlan Tsarnaev became radicalized and planned the bombings, and then pulled his younger brother into committing the crimes with him. The Globe reported Monday that once the trial ends, O’Toole has decided to make mental health counseling available to the 18 people — 12 deliberating jurors and six alternates — who have spent the past several months seeing photos and videos of the bombings and autopsy photos of the three adults and one child Tsarnaev murdered. The services are available under the federal Employee Assistance Program, provided by Federal Occupational Health, a component of the US Public Health Service. US Public Defender Office A photo of Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev was present as evidence Monday. Patricia Wen can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at @GlobePatty.Kevin Cullen is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeCullen.Milton J. Valencia can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @miltonvalencia.