On 31 October 2017, Sayfullo Saipov went to a Home Depot in New Jersey and rented a truck. Saipov, who at the time was 29, then drove into Manhattan, traveling south on the West Side highway, as countless motorists have done without incident.
But as Saipov approached Houston Street, he hit the gas, speeding onto a bike path alongside the Hudson River. He smashed into cyclists and pedestrians, killing eight people - the worst terror attack in New York since 9/11.
Saipov's rampage concluded only when he smashed into the side of a schoolbus. He then bounded out of the "smoking ruin" that remained of his truck and screamed "Allahu Akbar", a phrase often invoked by members of the Islamic State (IS) carrying out terrorist attacks, prosecutors said.
He toted two guns - which turned out to be fakes - and aimed them at a police officer who had rushed to the grisly scene. The officer fired his gun at Saipov, who was struck and fell to the ground.
At the hospital following his arrest, Saipov gave a "proud confession" and "smiled" about the carnage; he even "asked for an ISIS flag to hang in his hospital room", prosecutors said.
Saipov, who was found guilty this week in his Manhattan federal court trial, did not deny that he carried out this attack. Nor did his attorneys. But Saipov's relationship to the crimes he committed was arguably the key dispute in this case - and could well decide whether he lives or dies when he is sentenced after his conviction.
The trial that unfolded in New York over the past few weeks has cast a spotlight on Saipov's path to radicalisation - tracing a process that turned an apparently-normal seeming immigrant into someone willing and able to wreak carnage and murder on his adopted home.
Prosecutors have contended that Saipov "killed to become a member of ISIS and he did it right here in New York". Saipov's defense contends that he might have been inspired by IS, but did not want to become a member, in an effort to argue that he's not guilty of the capital counts within his lengthy indictment.
Saipov was convicted of capital counts and now the trial will move into the death penalty phase, and jurors will decide whether to hand down this punishment.
In making this argument about inspiration versus membership, Saipov's defense has provided a chronology of radicalization - and how one immigrant's pursuit of the American dream went terribly awry as conspiracy theories and loneliness took hold.
Saipov was born in Uzbekistan, when the central Asian nation remained part of the USSR. During Soviet control of Uzbekistan, religion was effectively barred.
Saipov grew up in a Muslim family but it was not a religious upbringing. There were Islamic greetings and pre-meal prayers, but he neither attended mosque nor studied the religion, his lead attorney, David Patton, told jurors in his opening.
Saipov's father and uncle traveled to the US when he was a teenager. They worked in construction and returned to Uzbekistan when Saipov was 21.
At the time, Saipov was working as a bank clerk and completing his schooling. He applied for a US work visa and came to the country in 2010, at age 22.
Saipov lived in Ohio and while he didn't have friends or relatives there, he was connected to the Uzbek community through family acquaintances. Within months, he landed a job as a long-haul truck driver.
Saipov wed in 2012. It was an arranged marriage, as common under Uzbek custom. In spring of 2017, they moved to Paterson, New Jersey, and had three children. He started driving for Uber, Patton said.
While the chronology of Saipov's life in the US seemed like that of so many other immigrants who toil for hours in grueling jobs, his line of work and resulting lifestyle fostered susceptibility to extremism, Patton argued.
"In the years since leaving Uzbekistan, Mr Saipov's life had changed dramatically. He went from constantly being surrounded by a large extended family to spending most of his days on the road crossing the country on long-haul trips driving a tractor-trailer," Patton said. "It was during those years that he became introduced to an extremist strain of Islam and ultimately to ISIS."
"He was drawn into an online world of grievance and conspiracy, conspiracy theories," Patton said. He was swayed by IS's extensive messaging, much of which was produced to look like legitimate, informative news programming.
Patton insisted, however, that Saipov was not a member of IS - nor did he want to become one. "The fact is Mr Saipov committed this attack without any real connection other than being inspired by it, by the messaging online in these chat groups and all sorts of other ways," he argued.
"He watched hours and hours of video and audio and consumed other material, and was convinced that ISIS was fighting for a righteous cause and that they were right in their version of Islam, and that in fact it was God's will that he should become a martyr and commit an attack, be a mujahideen, a warrior for Islam."
The fact that Saipov wanted to be a "martyr" - and die for his cause - also undermined any alleged desire to join IS, Patton contended.
"He expected to die, not join an organization. He was steeped in IS propaganda. He bought into all these notions of the caliphate and that it was a religious obligation for him to become a martyr and ascend to paradise," Patton said in his closing argument this week. "He didn't expect to be here before all of you and he didn't expect to be joining any organization."
Ron Kuby, a veteran criminal defense attorney with a focus on civil rights, explained that in a capital case where there's little doubt of a defendants' guilt, an attorney's focus on their life and motives has a singular goal.
"Everything in the case is about don't kill him," Kuby said of defense strategy in death penalty cases where culpability isn't disputed.
"While the penalty phase is separate from the guilt and innocence phase, as a practical matter, if you're a defense lawyer, you want to elicit anything any and everything during the guilt and innocence phase that in some way would mitigate the horror of the crime," Kuby said.
"If you can establish that the defendant was a normal person, who did normal person things, prior to him becoming radicalized, and you can show the unique circumstances that led to his radicalization, you can hope to argue to the jury that the man is not without the possibility of human redemption."