Aug 30, 2013 02:02 AM EDT
Surviving Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect , Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's Classmate Indicted
Robel Phillipos, a 19-year-old classmate of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 20-year-old surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect, was indicted Thursday on two federal criminal counts for allegedly lying during the inquiry.
Phillipos is accused of concealing the fact that he and two of Tsarnaev's friends, Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, went to the suspect's dormitory at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, April 18.
Investigators claimed that these men took away items including a laptop and a backpack with fireworks. Kadyrbayev is believed to have disposed the backpack.
Derege B. Demissie and Susan B. Church, Phillipos's attorneys, said that the false allegations against him would soon be erased.
"In time, it will be clear that this prosecution should not have been brought in the first place. It is clear that Phillipos had nothing to do with the removal of the backpack or destruction of potential evidence," the lawyers said. "He appreciates deeply the overwhelming support he continues to receive from his community and his family during this difficult time."
Phillipos could get up to 16 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov have already been charged with obstruction of justice.
When Phillipos was arrested in May on one count of lying, a judge discharged him on $100,000 bond and put him on house arrest and electronic monitoring.
Phillipos met Tsarnaev while they were studying at the University.
During the Boston Marathon, April 15, two pressure cooker bombs were set off at 2:49 pm EDT (18:49 UTC) that killed three people and injured more than 264 others near the race's finish line.
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