Boston bomber friends to serve prison time for coverup

USA Today/June 5, 2015

By Donna Leinwand Leger

A college friend of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev who helped cover up Tsarnaev's role in the terror attack was sentenced Friday to three years in prison despite a plea from former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis for leniency.

Robelo Phillipos was convicted of lying to investigators about what he did and saw when he and two other friends went to Tsarnaev's dorm room three days after the bombing. Dukakis, a friend of Phillipos' family, said in a letter to the judge that he could not see how justice would be served by sending Phillipos to prison.

Earlier Friday, a judge sentenced Azamat Tazhayakov, another college buddy, to 3-1/2 years in prison for obstructing the investigation into the April 15, 2013 bombing that killed three people and injured 264 others.

Phillipos, Tazhayakov and Tsarnaev attended University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. Prosecutors said the men and another friend, Dias Kadyrbayev, also a student at the school, figured out that Tsarnaev had a role in the bombings and sought to protect him by retrieving his backpack from his dorm room.

Kadyrbayev, an exchange student from Kazakhstan, was sentenced Tuesday to six years in prison for obstructing the investigation..

A jury convicted Tsarnaev on April 8 for his role in the bombing. Last month, the jury sentenced Tsarnaev to death by lethal injection.

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