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A U.S. jury on Monday found a friend of the accused Boston Marathon bomber guilty of obstructing the investigation into the ...
deadly blasts by removing a backpack containing fireworks shells from the suspect's dorm room.
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) A U.S. jury on Monday found a friend of the accused Boston Marathon bomber guilty of obstructing the investigation into the deadly blasts by removing a backpack containing fireworks shells from the suspect's dorm room. The friend, Kazakh exchange student Azamat Tazhayakov, was found guilty of conspiracy to obstruct justice and obstruction of justice for going to suspected bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's room three days after the April 15, 2013 attack and removing a backpack containing empty fireworks shells. Prosecutors have said Tazhayakov, fellow Kazakh exchange student Dias Kadyrbayev and Robel Phillipos of Cambridge, Massachusetts, removed evidence from Tsarnaev's room at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth after realizing that their friend was depicted in photos the FBI released of the suspected bomber. Tazhayakov's defense said they would appeal the decision. "My client never took a backpack out of his apartment. He never took a backpack out of the dormitory. The evidence is irreputable when it comes to that," he told reporters outside the courtroom. He also said the jury misconstrued the evidence. "My client did not leave that dorm room with a backpack. He can only control what people do to a certain extent. He took his Beats headphones, which were rightfully his. When they got to the apartment, he did not move a muscle. They did not do anything," the attorney said. "Dias Kadyrbayev went and took that backpack to a dumpster. My client wasn't part of that. How a jury claims that my client had intent to do that with Dias, I guess, is a misconstruing of the plain evidence." Tazhayakov could face up to 20 years in prison on the obstruction of justice count and up to five years on the conspiracy count. He will be sentenced on Oct. 16, U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock said.