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Opening set in trial of marathon suspect's friend

Opening statements set in trial of friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect

Opening set in trial of marathon suspect's friend

BOSTON (AP) -- The prosecution and the defense will likely paint starkly different pictures in the criminal trial of a friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Robel Phillipos, 21, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, is accused of lying to authorities about being in Tsarnaev's dorm room when two other friends removed Tsarnaev's backpack, laptop and other potential evidence three days after the deadly attack.

Opening statements are scheduled Monday in U.S. District Court, and the trial is expected to last about two weeks.

Twin bombs placed near the marathon's finish line killed three people and injured more than 260. Tsarnaev is awaiting trial on 30 federal charges and could face the death penalty if convicted.

Phillipos went to high school with Tsarnaev and they remained friends while both attended the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth.

Prosecutors say Phillipos lied about his movements on the night of April 18, 2013, three days after the bombing and hours after the FBI released photos of Tsarnaev and his brother as bombing suspects.

Lawyers for Phillipos say he was a frightened 19-year-old when he was questioned, and did not intend to mislead investigators.

Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev have been convicted of conspiracy and obstruction of justice for removing the items from Tsarnaev's dorm room. None of the three men is accused of participating in the bombings.

Updated : 2021-06-23 02:11 GMT+08:00