Ailina Tsarnaeva, the sister of Boston bombing suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, began the process of sorting out her own legal troubles after she was released from a South Boston court Wednesday in connection with a 2-year-old warrant in a counterfeit money investigation.
Tsarnaeva, 23, failed to show up for court in 2011 for allegedly impeding the investigation. The case involved counterfeit money being passed on at an Applebee’s in a Dorchester mall. Tsarnaeva told authorities she drove the car containing the people suspected of using the counterfeit bills but refused to identify them, according to prosecutors.
Tsarnaeva is the sister of Boston bombing suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Dzhokhar, 20, is facing terrorism charges for the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing that killed three people and injured hundreds more. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed April 19 in the ensuing manhunt in nearby Watertown, where police said Dzhokhar ran over his brother while escaping the shootout with federal, state and local authorities.
Now that Ailina Tsarnaeva is in the media spotlight, here are six things to know about the sister of the Boston bombing suspects:
1. She has money problems
Prosecutors sought $1,500 bail for Tsarnaeva when she showed up to a South Boston court Wednesday, but her attorney, George Gormley, successfully argued that she be released on her own recognizance.
“My client is practically indigent. She has no money. The bail of $1,500 might as well be $15,000,” Gormley told the Boston Herald following her court appearance on the outstanding warrant.
2. She has a 1-year-old child with another on the way
In arguing for no bail, Gormley also said that Tsarnaeva was “unlikely to flee” because of her family responsibilities.
“She has a young child. She’s pregnant now,” the attorney said.
3. She was investigated following the Boston bombings
Tsarnaeva said she had no knowledge of the attack her brothers were suspected of committing, telling investigators that she also had little contact with them. Authorities wanted to verify her story, the Jersey Journal reported shortly after the bombings.
4. She moved to a shelter because she felt her mother was too strict.
After coming to the United States from Georgia, Tsarnaeva lived with her family in Cambridge, Mass. But Tsarnaeva, her child, and her sister, Bella, moved out of the house over a rift with their mother, The Springfield, Mass., Republican reported.
5. She now lives in New Jersey
At the time of the attacks, Tsarnaeva lived in West New York, N.J. She has since moved to Fairview, N.J.
6. Her sister also has legal problems
But Bella Tsarnaeva’s legal issues will soon be cleared up as prosecutors and her attorneys work out a plea deal on marijuana charges, the Bergen Record reported. Bella agreed to go into a treatment program in exchange for keeping her criminal record clean, according to the New Jersey newspaper.