2 sentenced for aiding bomber
Two college friends of marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were sentenced to prison after one tearfully apologized to the residents of Boston for impeding the investigation and the other had a show of support from former Gov. Michael S. Dukakis.
Azamat Tazhayakov, 21, was sentenced to 31⁄2 years for impeding the investigation into the attack while authorities frantically searched for the bombers. He was convicted of conspiracy and obstruction of justice for agreeing with another friend to remove Tsarnaev’s backpack from his dorm room at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. The backpack contained fireworks that had been emptied of their explosive powder.
Robel Phillipos, 21, was given a three-year sentence for lying to the FBI about being in Tsarnaev’s dorm room days after the bombings. The judge said Phillipos was to blame for a “substantial diversion” of law enforcement resources.
Dukakis, a friend of Phillipos’ family, and the 1988 Democratic presidential nominee, wrote a letter of support and testified for him during his trial.