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Marathon suspect's friend guilty of impeding probe

BOSTON (AP) -- A college friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was convicted Monday of impeding the investigation into the bombing.

Azamat Tazhayakov was charged with obstruction of justice and conspiracy, with prosecutors saying he agreed with a friend's plan to remove Tsarnaev's backpack containing altered fireworks from his dorm room a few days after the 2013 bombing.

His trial was the first stemming from the bombing, which killed three and injured more than 260 near the marathon's finish line. Tazhayakov's mother sobbed loudly and rocked in her seat as the jury announced the guilty verdicts, which it reached on the third day of deliberations.

Boston Bombing Suspect's Friend Convicted Of Hiding Evidence

Tazhayakov's lawyers argued that it was the other friend, Dias Kadyrbayev, who removed the items from the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth dorm room and then threw them away.

Prosecutors told the jury that both men shared in the decision to remove the items and get rid of them to protect Tsarnaev. Kadyrbayev faces a separate trial in September. A third friend, Robel Phillipos, is charged with lying to investigators.

During Tazhayakov's trial, FBI agents testified that Tazhayakov told them he and Kadyrbayev decided to take the backpack, fireworks and Tsarnaev's laptop computer hours after Kadyrbayev received a text message from Tsarnaev that said he could go to his dorm room and "take what's there." The items were removed hours after the FBI released photos and video of Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan, and identified them as suspects in the bombing.

But Tazhayakov's lawyer, Matthew Myers, said his client was a naive college kid who was prosecuted because he was a "friend of the bomber." Myers said Tazhayakov and another friend, Robel Phillipos, sat passively watching a movie in Tsarnaev's dorm room as Kadyrbayev took the backpack.

Prosecutors acknowledged that Kadyrbayev is the one who actually threw away the items taken from Tsarnaev's room, but they said Tazhayakov agreed with the plan.

The backpack and fireworks were later recovered in a New Bedford landfill. Prosecutors said the fireworks had been emptied of their explosive powder - an ingredient that can be used to make bombs.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a shootout with police. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev escaped, but was found later that day, wounded and hiding in a boat parked in a backyard in nearby Watertown.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty in the bombing and is scheduled to stand trial in November. He faces the possibility of the death penalty if convicted.

Tazhayakov is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 16. He faces a five-year maximum for conspiracy and 20-year maximum for obstruction but likely will get a lot less under sentencing guidelines.

Join the discussion

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firstamendment3 July 21 2014 at 2:15 PM

Hang him. Hang his family. Bomb his country of origin.

Flag Reply +48 rate up
4 replies
aabmhbetty July 21 2014 at 2:29 PM

Anyone involved with any terrorist action should at least spend the rest of his life in jail with no parole. This guy will probably end up getting a few years and be back out in public doing what they do best. Destruction and killing. This is the problem with our justice system and our laws. No one is really held accountable for their heinous crimes.

Flag Reply +47 rate up
6 replies
Pat July 21 2014 at 2:25 PM

keep those GUILTY verdicts coming ...

Flag Reply +38 rate up
1 reply
db1219 Pat July 21 2014 at 4:29 PM

I could not agree more. Just as long as Massachusetts has a death penalty.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
1 reply
amythest00574 db1219 July 21 2014 at 10:28 PM

Massachusetts has no death penalty.

Flag 0 rate up
HiBarbRayAndMeg July 21 2014 at 2:28 PM

Be careful who your friends are.. It was obvious this low life knew what he was doing, he just did not know how much blowback there was going to be. Now he does.

Flag Reply +37 rate up
mwskarren July 21 2014 at 2:33 PM

Put the damned terrorists in prison for life!! They helped the murdering brothers so they're as guilty as the brothers!!

Flag Reply +32 rate up
buddwhyzr July 21 2014 at 3:02 PM

Come to my country and pull this sh*t AND get an American defense attorney? That wouldn't happen in Russia would it? Get a rope.

Flag Reply +29 rate up
4 replies
Sally July 21 2014 at 2:22 PM

Good start! Now bring on Dzhokar!

Flag Reply +25 rate up
lawoff414 July 21 2014 at 2:19 PM

If they let him out of jail before he is sentenced, he will run, and probably leave the country.

Flag Reply +25 rate up
rn1982la July 21 2014 at 2:30 PM

better soln let him stand by a bomb like all the marathon runners and see ehat happens eye for eye

Flag Reply +19 rate up
RICHARD FORGIONE July 21 2014 at 2:47 PM

Put his foreign a** in jail and let the other American prisoners take care of him

Flag Reply +19 rate up
2 replies
projectoak RICHARD FORGIONE July 21 2014 at 8:46 PM

Most prisoners well see him as a HERO

Flag Reply 0 rate up
1 reply
jtfee projectoak July 21 2014 at 8:59 PM

Been in jail? I think you are just "wishful thinking". Go eat a goat's eyes.

Flag +2 rate up
Burt RICHARD FORGIONE July 22 2014 at 11:37 AM

B.S.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
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