The suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was charged in a criminal complaint and appeared before a federal magistrate who came to his bedside at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, officials said. Mr. Tsarnaev is being treated for what the court papers described as possible gunshot wounds to the “head, neck, legs, and hand.” Magistrate Judge Marianne B. Bowler advised Mr. Tsarnaev of his rights and the charges against him, according to a summary of the proceeding provided by the court.
In a criminal complaint unsealed Monday in United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Mr. Tsarnaev was charged with one count of “using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction” against persons and property within the United States resulting in death, and one count of “malicious destruction of property by means of an explosive device resulting in death” in last week’s bombings.
If he is convicted of the charges, he could face the death penalty.
The brief bedside proceeding began when Judge Bowler asked a doctor whether Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was alert, according to a transcript of the proceeding.
“You can rouse him,” the judge told the doctor.
“How are you feeling?” asked the doctor, identified in the transcript as Dr. Odom. “Are you able to answer some questions?”
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev “nods affirmatively,” according to the transcript, the first of four times during the proceeding, which in addition to the judge and the doctor was attended by two federal prosecutors, three public defenders, the judge’s clerk and a court reporter.
The only word Dzhokhar Tsarnaev uttered apparently was “No,” after he was asked if he could afford a lawyer.
Judge Bowler said, “Let the record reflect that I believe the defendant has said, ‘No.’ ”
One of the federal defenders representing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, William Fick, said that he would defer the question of bail, and agree to voluntary detention. One of the prosecutors, William Weinreb, said that the government was seeking to have the defendant detained pending trial.
At the end of the session, Judge Bowler said: “At this time, at the conclusion of the initial appearance, I find that the defendant is alert, mentally competent, and lucid. He is aware of the nature of the proceedings.”
The affidavit accompanying the criminal complaint provided the fullest picture to date of the evidence collected so far by F.B.I. agents and police detectives, who have been working around the clock since two blasts seconds apart wrought chaos along the marathon’s route.
It also gave new details about the violent last hours that the bombing suspects spent on the run: from a carjacking late Thursday night to a pitched gun battle with the police Friday morning that left Mr. Tsarnaev’s older brother, Tamerlan, 26, dead, to the capture of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on Friday evening as he lay, hidden and wounded, in a boat in the backyard of a home in Watertown, Mass.
The affidavit, sworn out by Daniel R. Genck, an F.B.I. special agent assigned to the Joint Terrorist Task Force in Boston, cites surveillance video as it details the movements the brothers made around the time of the marathon bombings. It said that the explosive devices — which it describes as “low-grade explosives that were housed in pressure cookers” that also contained “metallic BB’s and nails” — were placed near metal barriers along Boylston Street, where hundreds of spectators were watching runners as they approached the finish line.