Robel Phillipos To Be Released After Judge, Feds Agree To Bail Deal For Boston Bombing Suspect

 

Robel Phillipos, a friend of Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev who has been charged with lying to the FBI, was released from a federal lockup Monday after a judge and prosecutors agreed on a deal that will keep him out of jail pending his trial.

The 19-year-old Phillipos, who was arrested last week along with Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakhov -- two other friends of Tsarnaev who were charged with obstruction of justice -- will be released to home confinement on $100,000 bail, WCVB reported.

Other conditions of the Cambridge, Mass., resident’s bail include that he wear an electronic monitoring bracelet during his home confinement.

The 19-year-old University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth student was interviewed four times by the FBI after the Boston Marathon attacks on April 15, and lied to the bureau in three of the interviews, according to the criminal complaint charging Phillipos.

Phillipos allegedly lied about entering Tsarnaev’s apartment after Tsarnaev and his brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, were identified as suspects in the marathon attacks.

According to the criminal complaint, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev contacted his friends and told them to take anything they wanted from his apartment.

Kadyrbayev and Tazahayakov were charged with disposing of a knapsack and laptop from Dzohkhar’s dorm room at UMass-Dartmouth. The items were eventually found April 26 at a landfill in New Bedford; fireworks were found in the backpack.

In arguing for home confinement, lawyers for Phillipos argued that the student is not a flight risk and has no prior criminal record, according to Reuters.

Outside Boston federal court last week, Phillipos’ lawyer, Derege Demissie, pointed out that his client was not charged with crimes as serious as Kadyrbayev's and Tazhayakhov's.

“The only allegation he made is a misrepresentation,” Demissie said.

Phillipos’ arrest came as a shock to those who knew the 19-year-old student.

"I was shocked and stunned when I heard the news of his arrest. I could not control my tears," his aunt, Zewditu Alemu, wrote in a court motion urging for bail. “"I do not believe that my beloved Robel crosses the line intentionally to support or assist such a horrendous act against us the people of the USA. By nature he does not like violence. He loves peaceful environment."

Phillipos’ former teacher, Richard Feigenberg, said he was always helpful to those around him.

"When I asked for someone to take out the trash or read to a kindergarten student, it was most often Robel who volunteered," Feigenberg wrote in a separate affidavit. "He always had a wonderful smile that warmed the whole classroom."

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