A friend of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been sentenced to 3.5 years for obstructing justice. Authorities found that the man removed a backpack full of fireworks from Tsarnaev's room while federal authorities were carrying out a manhunt for Tsarnaev.
Three Friends in Total Have Been Convicted
Azamat Tazhayakov is a foreign exchange student from Kazakh and one of three of Tsarnaev's friends to be found guilty of entering Tsarnaev's dormitory room following the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Another friend of Tsarnaev from Cambridge, Robel Phillipos, will be sentenced this Friday for lying to investigators during their investigations.
The last friend to be sentenced, Dias Kadyrbayev is from Kazakhstan and he was sentenced to serve six years in prison on Tuesday, following his admission to obstructing federal investigations relating to the bombing.
At no time were any of these men accused of possessing knowledge about the bombing plot before it was carried out. In Tazhayakov's sentencing, he told the court that it makes him sick that his friend carried out the bombing. He said that when he saw his friend was a suspect in the bombing, he did not know it was true, and he did not think about entering his friend's dorm room.
Prosectors Sought Leniency on Tazhayakov
Due to Tazhayakov's willingness to testify against his friend, prosecutors requested only a four-year jail sentence for Tazhayakov rather than the 30-year maximum. Meanwhile, they have asked for Phillipos to receive a five-year sentence this Friday.
The three men were all the same age as Tsarnaev, 19, and University of Massachusetts students when the bombing took place. Last month, Tsarnaev was sentenced to death for his involvement in the bombing plot.
In their criminal defense, attorneys representing Tazhayakov and Phillipos tried to present their clients as marijuana-smoking teens who were too naive to know that removing their friend's backpack from his dorm room was such a serious offense.
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