Boston Marathon Bombing suspect's friends to receive separate trials, will be held in Massachusetts

By Daniel S Levine,

A federal judge ruled that three college friends of Dhzokhar Tsarnaev, the alleged Boston Marathon bomber, will receive three separate trials. However, the trials will still take place in Massachusetts.

Azamat Tazhayakov, Dias Kadyrbayev and Robel Phillipos all face federal charges for allegedly helping hide evidence for Tsarnaev. Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov, both Kazakhstan nationals, have been charged with tampering with evidence. Kadyrbayev has been charged with lying to investigators.

According to The Associated Press, Judge Douglas Woodlock did rule that all three can have their own trials. However, he turned down their attorneys’ requests to have their trials moved out of the state. They said media coverage would deny them a fair trial, but Woodlock disagreed.

Tazhayakov’s trial will start on June 30. Kadyrbayev will go to trial on Sept. 8 and Phillipos on Sept. 29.

The Boston Globe reports that Kadyrbayev did take the stand during the hearing, as Woodlock said he needed to speak with the defendants in order to rule on their attorneys’ requests to suppress some evidence. Authorities say that Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov took a laptop and fireworks from Tsarnaev’s University of Massachusetts Dartmouth dorm room a few days after the attacks in April 2013.

Phillipos allegedly lied to investigators when he was asked about the removal of the evidence.

All three pleaded not guilty. Phillipos is being held on house arrest, while the other two are being held without bail.

Tsarnaev’s own trial is set to start in November. He and his brother, Tamerlan, allegedly planned the bombing, placing bombs near the Boston Marathon finish line. Three people died and over 260 were injured. He is also accused of shooting MIT security officer Sean Collier days after the attacks.



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