Student Suspected In Boston Bombing Cover-Up Released On Bond
BOSTON (CBSNewYork) — One of the three college students, accused for covering up for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was released from jail Monday after posting bond.
As CBS 2’s Lou Young reported, Robel Phillipos, 19, is one of three college students at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth who was arrested last week for trying to cover up for Tsarnaev. The alleged cover-up happened after Tsarnaev and his now-deceased older brother, Tamerlan, appeared in security pictures released by the FBI.
Phillipos faces up to eight years in prison for lying to investigators, but late Monday afternoon, his attorneys said he was simply at in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“At no time did Robel have any prior knowledge of this Marathon bombing, nor did he participate in any of the planning done by the defendant in this case,” said attorney Susan Church.
Prosecutors initially asked that Phillipos be held while he awaits trial, arguing that he poses a serious flight risk.
But both sides said in a court motion filed Monday morning they agreed to allow Phillipos to be released on $100,000 bond, provided he be confined to his mother’s home in Cambridge, Mass., and wear an electronic monitoring bracelet, CBS Boston reported.
Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler agreed to the strict house arrest during a hearing Monday afternoon at federal court in South Boston.
She told Phillipos he was allowed to leave the house only for meetings with his lawyers or true emergencies, CBS Boston reported.
As all of that happened, a controversy has been simmering over what to do with the body of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, who was killed in a shootout with police three days later.
Graham, Putnam & Mahoney Funeral Parlors in Worcester, Mass., has been holding the body and has had no luck finding a cemetery that will accept the remains. Demonstrators in front of the funeral parlor said that is exactly as it should be.
“I feel I have the right to stand here and say, we want him removed to his homeland,” said community activist William Breault.
A fund has been established to raise money to ship Tamerlan Taarnaev’s body back to Russia. Members of his family said they are anxious to get on with the burial.
“We want to prepare his body, wash him, shroud him,” said the suspects’ uncle, Ruslan Tsarni.
Federal agents searched Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s home in Cambridge Monday. Sources told CBS News they were trying to find additional traces of explosives.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s 20-year-old widow, Katherine Russell, also remained under intense scrutiny Monday after agents found al-Qaeda propaganda on her personal laptop.
The other two Dartmouth students in the case — Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev – were set to appear next week before a judge. They face more serious charges of tampering with evidence.