FBI arrests three suspects in Boston Marathon bombing case

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Three college friends of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have been arrested and charged by complaint with federal felony offenses for their conduct after the bombing.

CBS News reported yesterday that,

Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev were charged with conspiring to obstruct justice by concealing and destroying evidence. A third man, Robel Phillipos, was charged with lying to investigators about the visit to Tsarnaev’s room.

Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev have been accused of going to Tsarnaev’s room on campus after the bombing and removing a laptop computer and a backpack containing fireworks from which the explosive gunpowder had been removed. One of the young men attempted to dispose of the backpack by throwing it in the garbage. FBI agents recovered it from a landfill. They also seized the laptop.

The three young men were in federal court yesterday for their initial appearances.

In a court appearance Wednesday afternoon, Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev waived bail and agreed to voluntary detention. Their next hearing is scheduled for May 14.

CBS Boston reports that federal Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler admonished Phillipos in court, telling him to pay attention and not look down during the proceeding.

After the hearing, attorneys for the three spoke to the press briefly.

Harlan Protass, Tazhayakov’s attorney, said his client “feels horrible and was shocked to hear that someone he knew at UMass-Darmouth was involved with the Boston Marathon bombing.”

“[Tazhayakov] has cooperated fully with authorities and looks foward to the truth coming out in the case,” Protass said.

Robert Stahl, Kadyrbayev’s attorney, insisted his client had nothing to do with the bombing and has been cooperating with investigators.

“Mr. Kadyrbayev did not know that those items [reportedly taken from Dzhokhar’s dorm room] were of any evidential value,” Stahl said.

Whether the three young men had any foreknowledge of the bombing and did anything to assist their friend remains to be seen. As I have previously said, complaints in federal felony offenses are used to provide a legal basis to hold people until a grand jury returns an indictment.

The hearing on May 14 will be a preliminary hearing to determine whether probable cause exists to support the charges in the complaint. Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler will preside over the hearing. An FBI agent will testify for the government regarding the factual basis for probable cause and defense counsel will have an opportunity to cross examine the agent.


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27 Responses to FBI arrests three suspects in Boston Marathon bombing case

  1. willisnewton says:

    It’s reasonable to assume that one possiblity at the moment in this case looks line this:

    The 19yo accused has stopped giving info on advice of counsel after bejng advised of his right to remain silent. Unfortunately for him he’d already answered quite a few questions before deciding to remain silent because what he has to offer the prosecution in exchange for concessions of any sort is of course the information he alone now posesses regarding details of the crimes. His defense lawyers are going to fight to get the death penalty off the table in exchange for his cooperation.

    Who here thinks that was EVER a possibility even if he had not already answered questions at all? I’m not for the death penalty and neither is the state of Massachusetts. But given that he’s facing a federal law regarding “weapons of mass destruction” whatever that means, his future looks grim to me.

    One question keeps popping up- he will be charged with three or four deaths yet the average schoolyard maniac with a Glock or a bushmaster seems to kill many times more. Which is the weapon of mass destruction ad why?

  2. groans says:

    Sorry, but work has gotten crazy since the Trayvon Martin case hearing earlier this week. So I haven’t been able to keep up with this blog. Hope to be back soon!

  3. Xena says:


  4. boyd says:

    Their defense will be, well we dropped out because we are not too bright.

  5. bydesign2010 says:

    These men were college aged and have no excuse for what they did. They were fully aware that they were destroying evidence. Dzhokhar told them to not text him and to go to his room and take what they wanted. Instead of keeping these items they tossed them. If they had no ill intent it seems more logical that they would have had these items in their possession.

    • type1juve says:


      I agree… these young men knew exactly what they were doing. They were covering for their friend, plain and simple. They knowingly got rid of evidence that they knew to be incriminating to their friend. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that they know more about the planning of the bombing as well.

  6. Lonnie Starr says:

    Reminds of Mark Osterman and the removal of GZ’s truck, eh?

    • Cercando Luce says:

      Osterman knew better than anyone that moving the truck would interfere with any murder investigation.

      • Lonnie Starr says:

        Well the SP has him dead to rights if they want him, and he’s on the SP’s witness list along with GZ’s wife, the book and the Dr. Phil and Hannity interviews.

        I Doubt MOM can afford to risk a long trial, the longer they hold the jury without presenting anything relevant the worst their chances of getting an acquittal as if there were actually any chances.

        While, on the other hand, the more they present that gets knocked down, the worse they look again.

  7. ay2z says:

    Read a news report that the friends did not know that what they removed was evidence.

    Then, if that’s the case, what WERE they thinking?

  8. fauxmccoy says:


  9. LeaNder says:

    I just noticed this too.

    Besides by now I realized that whatever images I had in mind were in fact of Fogen’s first appearance and not his arraignment. It feels this lecture will stick, since our dear Professor explained it so well to this complete US law nitwit. From now on the words used mean something. 😉

    In any case in this BBC documentary it was the first appearance and exactly the images I had in mind. A European look at the case and its context.

  10. Two sides to a story says:

    I awoke suddenly during the night, restless and thinking first of these three young men. I’ve not followed this case closely except for the issue of mirandizing Dzhokar Tsarnaev, so I’m not sure why.

  11. 1814Sir says:


    • cielo62 says:

      LOL! At least I got on board! BTW in MANY Middle Eastern cultures, it’s DISRESPECTFUL to look someone in the eye. Looking at the ground shows submissive and respectful behavior. Admonishing someone for showing respect is pretty stupid. Or at the very least, culturally ignorant.

      • Cercando Luce says:

        Phillipos isn’t Middle Eastern, he’s American, so he knows what the judge means.

        • cielo62 says:

          Cercando Luce~ But you don’t know how he was raised. I had a kid with a Lebanese father. He (my student) never looked me in the eye. Anyway, it was a strange thing for the paper to comment on UNLESS it had a cultural implication.

      • towerflower says:

        Yep, you find out that your friend is a suspect in the bombing and the first thing you want to do is go through his room and start to throw things out and then claim you didn’t know it would be considered evidence…….yeah, right. LOL.

      • Malisha says:

        Actually, I don’t like a judge telling a defendant where to look (or anything else about posture or demeanor by the same token) because it sends the wrong message. The court process is a rigid and, some feel, dehumanizing one. Every defendant is going to respond and react differently AS IT IS HIS OR HER RIGHT to do, within the bounds of courtesy. It is acceptable for a defendant to drop his head and look at his feet if he so chooses. He may not be giving “the best impression” and his attorney might want him to behave differently but it is certainly not an obligation on his part.

        One of my lawyers told me not to this, not to that, to this, and to that. I asked him why. He said, “that’s what judges like.” I followed every direction as if I were an actor and he was my director. Made no difference; the law didn’t enter into the proceeding at any point anyway. It turned out the judge “liked” power and “did not like” powerful mothers.

        Courtrooms and legal proceedings are not supposed to be the judges’ little kingdoms and “court” should mean something quite different than what it meant in the days of Richard III, but so often a different kind of impression comes out of it. Ugh.

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