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Friend of Boston bombing suspect convicted

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Posted at 11:03 AM, Oct 28, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-28 11:03:00-04

BOSTON — Robel Phillipos, a friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was convicted Tuesday on two counts of lying to federal agents investigating the 2013 bombing, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. Prosecutors said Phillipos lied to investigators about being in Tsarnaev’s college dorm room at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth after the bombing.

From left, (not blurred) Robel Phillipos, Azmat Tazhayakov and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in Times Square. (PHOTO: U.S. Department of Justice)

From left, (not blurred) Robel Phillipos, Azmat Tazhayakov and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in Times Square. (PHOTO: U.S. Department of Justice)

Lawyers for Phillipos, a Boston native, say he was a “frightened and confused 19-year-old” when authorities questioned him several times in the days following the April 15 bombing, which killed three people and wounded more than 260.

Police believe Tsarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed by police after the attacks, set off the two bombs near the race’s finish line.

Phillipos attended high school with the younger Tsarnaev at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where they both live.

According to the court document, Phillipos hadn’t seen or talked to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for at least two months before the bombing. He was taking a semester off from UMass-Dartmouth and was only on campus the night of April 18 for a seminar.