A man accused of lending his gun to the Boston Marathon bomber has been released from prison. Last March, the man testified that he gave his Ruger P95 handgun to bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev following the bombing attack. Tsarnaev later used the gun to fatally shoot a police officer.
Stephen Silva pleaded guilty to criminal charges relating to the handgun last year after his arrest in July 2014. On Tuesday, he was sentenced to time served, in addition to three years of supervised release, thus allowing for his recent release from prison.
Silva Didn't Know Gun Would Be Used to Kill
Silva claimed that he did not know Tsarnaev -- who was his childhood friend -- was going to use the gun to kill an officer. Tsarnaev allegedly told him that he was going to rob students in the Rhode Island area. Although Silva was not accused of participating in the 2013 bombing incident during the Boston Marathon, he did admit to the illegal ownership of an unmarked and unregistered handgun, which had its serial number removed.
The Boston bombing injured 264 people and killed three. Three days after the bombing, Tsarnaev used Silva's firearm to shoot and kill Massachusetts Institute of Technology officer Sean Collier.
Silva Gave Lengthy Apology Before Sentencing
Silva made the following apology before the judge issued his sentencing, "I would like to apologize for the crimes I committed. For the record, I had no idea that the firearm I lent to Mr. Tsarnaev would be used in the way it was ... I was young, dumb and thought I could outsmart everyone."
Prosecutors originally wanted Silva to receive an 18-month jail sentence, saying that he cooperated in the criminal investigation against Tsarnaev and he testified that Tsarnaev himself asked him for the gun. This testimony assisted prosecutors in discounting Tsarnaev's defense that he was merely a secondary accomplice to the bombing.
Tsarnaev received a death sentence for his crimes; however, he plans to appeal the conviction.
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