Bombing suspect’s friend convicted

Published: Tuesday 28th October 2014 by The News Editor

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A friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been convicted of lying during the investigation into the 2013 attack.

Prosecutors say Robel Phillipos lied about being in Tsarnaev’s dorm room while two other friends removed potential evidence three days after the bombing while an intense manhunt was under way to find the suspected attackers.

FBI agents testified that Phillipos told them a string of lies before finally acknowledging he had been in Tsarnaev’s room at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth with the two men who removed Tsarnaev’s backpack containing fireworks and a laptop computer.

Phillipos’s lawyers said he was a frightened 19-year-old who was intimidated by the FBI and too high on marijuana to clearly remember what he did that night.

Phillipos, now 21, looked straight ahead impassively as the guilty verdicts were read out in the Boston court.

The two friends who removed Tsarnaev’s backpack have both been convicted of conspiracy and obstruction of justice.

Tsarnaev is awaiting trial, having pleaded not guilty to 30 federal charges. He could face the death penalty if convicted.

Phillipos’s sentencing is scheduled for January 29, and he faces a maximum sentence of eight years on each of the two counts of lying during a terrorism investigation. Phillipos will remain under house arrest on an electronic monitoring bracelet until then.

Published: Tuesday 28th October 2014 by The News Editor

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