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Boston Bombing Suspect's Friend Convicted of Lying to Authorities

  • VOA News

Robel Phillipos, left, departs federal court after he was convicted in Boston on two counts of lying about being in the dorm room of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev three days after the bombing in 2013, Oct. 28, 2014.

Robel Phillipos, left, departs federal court after he was convicted in Boston on two counts of lying about being in the dorm room of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev three days after the bombing in 2013, Oct. 28, 2014.

A friend of suspected Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been convicted of lying during the investigation into the deadly April 2013 attack.

A U.S. jury Tuesday found 21-year-old Robel Phillipos guilty on two counts of making false statements to authorities. He faces up to 16 years in prison when he is sentenced on January 29.

FBI agents testified that Phillipos lied about being in Tsarnaev's dorm room three days after the bombings as two other friends removed a backpack containing fireworks and other possible evidence. He later admitted to visiting the room.

His lawyers had argued that he was too high on marijuana the day of the visit to clearly remember his actions.

Tsarnaev himself is set to go on trial in January on charges he carried out the bombings with his older brother Tamerlan who died in a shootout with police. The younger Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to all charges but could face the death penalty if convicted. Three people died in the attack and more than 250 were wounded.

The two friends who removed Tsarnaev's backpack from the room were both charged with conspiracy and obstruction of justice. Azamat Tazhayakov was convicted of the charges in July, while Dias Kadyrbayev pleaded guilty in August.

Prosecutors have also charged a taxi driver with misleading investigators and seeking to destroy evidence about how well he knew the Tsarnaevs. He has also pleaded not guilty and is scheduled for trial next year.

Material for this report came from AP, AFP, and Reuters.

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