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Defense: Bombing Suspect’s Friend Did Not Help Him

Three Additional Suspects Arrested In Boston Bombing Case
Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images

A lawyer for a friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has told a jury that the man never tried to protect Tsarnaev and was prosecuted simply because he was “a friend of the bomber.”

Azamat Tazhayakov is charged with obstruction of justice and conspiracy for allegedly agreeing with another friend to take fireworks that had been emptied of their explosive powder, Tsarnaev’s laptop and other items from his dorm room after last year’s deadly bombing.

During closing arguments Wednesday, Tazhayakov’s lawyer said it was the other friend who removed the items and later threw away the fireworks to protect Tsarnaev. Attorney Matthew Myers said Tazhayakov was prosecuted because of “guilt by association.”

A prosecutor told jurors that Tazhayakov knew Tsarnaev was a suspect after he recognized his friend in photos and video released by the FBI. He said Tazhayakov agreed with another friend to take items and throw them away.

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