BALTIMORE (WJZ) - Boston Marathon bombing victims and their families come face-to-face with the accused bomber in court for the first time. And in Maryland, emotions run especially high for a woman who lost her leg in the attack.
The Boston bombing suspect's appearance brings back painful memories for victims and their families, including a family right here in Maryland.
The suspect in the Boston Marathon attack arrived at the federal courthouse under heavy guard. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had his first public appearance since the bombings that killed three people in April.
With one arm in a cast and speaking in a Russian accent, Tsarnaev entered a plea of not guilty then blew a kiss to his sisters.
"It appeared that he gave what I would describe as a smirk," said Peter Brown, victim's uncle.
The hearing was only seven minutes, but it brought back agonizing pain for survivors and their families, who got their first chance to see the 19-year-old suspect.
"I actually felt sick to my stomach. It was very emotional for me," said Liz Norden, victim's mother.
"I kind of don't want to go down that path again," said Erika Brannock, Boston Marathon bombing survivor.
A Marylander, Brannock says knowing the accused bombing suspect is in court brings back painful memories.
"He's taken a lot of things from me and I don't really think wasting any more time and energy on him is helpful for me. And I don't really want to give him that pleasure," she said.
Brannock and her sister were in Boston cheering for her mother, who was running in the marathon, when the bombs went off.
Her left leg is amputated above the knee. Her right leg was severely damaged.
"I would be wrong not to admit that I'm angry, because it's affected our whole family so much. It's taken away so much from our family," said Carol Downing, Brannock's mother.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev could be sentenced to life in prison or receive the death penalty depending on the outcome of the case.
If you would like to help with Erika's medical expenses, then go to http://www.thebrannockfund.com/