Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's Friend Convicted For Impeding Bombing Inquiry

Jul 21, 2014
Originally published on July 21, 2014 3:30 pm

Azamat Tazhayakov, a friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev who police say impeded their investigation of the 2013 attack, has been convicted on some of the charges against him and found not guilty of others.

Tazhayakov was found guilty of obstructing justice and conspiracy. A 12-member jury says that along with another friend, Tazhayakov conspired to remove a backpack from Tsarnaev's dorm room that could have provided evidence in the case, shortly after police had broadcast photos of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan, as suspects in the deadly bombing. Police say the backpack contained empty fireworks shells and other items.

From The Boston.com:

"Tazhayakov, 20, was accused of removing a backpack from Tsarnaev's dorm room at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth at his request on April 18, 2013. Though photos of Tsarnaev had been released by the FBI at that time, he had not yet been identified by name. Tazhayakov, a Kazakhstan national, had been held without bail since his April 20, 2013 arrest."

Last fall, the authorities accused Tazhayakov and two other young men of obstructing the investigation.

Monday, the jury found Tazhayakov not guilty of two other charges of obstructing justice and conspiracy that were related to taking Tsarnaev's laptop.

A punishment for Tazhayakov won't be announced until October; he faces a total maximum penalty of 25 years, reports the Boston Globe.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.