Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s friend plans to plead guilty to charges of obstructing the investigation into the deadly attack, his attorney said Wednesday. The 2013 attack claimed the lives of three people and injured 260 others after two bombs exploded near the finish line.
Dias Kadyrbayev, who is one of three friends of Tsarnaev charged with hampering the investigation, is accused of removing evidence, including Tsarnaev’s backpack, laptop and other items, from the suspect’s dorm room at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. According to reports, Tsarnaev’s friends removed the items after finding out that he was suspected of carrying out the attack, along with his brother Tamerlan, who was killed in a shootout with police days after the bombing incident. The backpack, which contained emptied fireworks, was later reportedly recovered from the Crapo Hill Landfill in New Bedford, about 11 miles north of the university.
Kadyrbayev’s attorney, Robert Stahl, reportedly said in a statement that the 20-year-old “will plead tomorrow,” but other details were not revealed. A change-of-plea hearing is expected to take place Thursday at a federal court in Boston, according to The Associated Press. Kadyrbayev was scheduled to go on trial for conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges next month.
Azamat Tazhayakov, another friend of Tsarnaev, was convicted last month with similar charges, which carry a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison, and is expected to be sentenced on Oct. 16, Reuters reported, citing U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock.
A third friend of Tsarnaev, Robel Phillipos of Cambridge, Massachusetts, is reportedly charged with making false statements to federal investigators, and is scheduled to go on trial next month.