It was not until the sentencing phase that Newport resident and Boston Marathon bombing survivor Heather Abbott took the stand in the trial of now-convicted bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. She testified as prosecutors made their case for a death sentence for Tsarnaev.
Abbott, who lost part of her left leg after the bombings, recounted how she was thrown through the entrance of a restaurant by the blast from the second bomb to go off on that now-infamous day in April. Feeling as though her left foot were on fire, she said she crawled toward other people who fleeing the blast.
Later, at a Boston hospital, Abbott told the courtroom how she struggled with the decision to have her leg amputated. Doctors had recommended that she do so because her foot had been so badly damaged in the explosion.
In the final day of the prosecution's presentation during the sentencing phase, Abbott also looked through photos and identified other victims who had at least one leg amputated. The Associated Press reported there were 17 in all.
The Defense remained silent throughout the prosecution's presentation, which included emotional testimony from several bombing survivors. Defense attorneys chose not to cross examine any of the witnesses, including Abbott.
Prior to her testimony on Thursday, Abbott told Rhode Island Public Radio that she does not feel strongly about whether Tsarnaev deserves the death penalty.
"It really doesn't matter to me what happens to him," she said. "I just hope that the families of those who lost loved ones have the outcome that they hope for.”