A federal jury has found Azamat Tazhayakov, a friend of the Boston Marathon bombing suspect, guilty of obstruction of justice and conspiracy to cover up the crime as he hindered authorities to properly investigate Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
According to prosecution evidence, Tazhayakov (with the aid of Dias Kadyrbayev) hid a backpack belonging to Tsarnaev and removed a laptop belonging to him from his dorm room. Tazhayakov’s defence lawyers argued that it was Kadyrbayev who actually removed the items, but regardless of who exactly accomplished the deed, Tazhayakov is guilty by going along with the events.
According to the juror, the defendant would now have to pay the price for having taken materials that did not only belong in an active investigation but that also should have never been touched.
The jury found Tazhayakov guilty for removing the backpack, but not the laptop. He was the first out of four suspects to face trial in connection to the Boston Marathon Bombing that took place on the 15th of April 2013. The next suspect to face trial is Kadyrbayev who is planned to go on trial in September.
The main suspect, Dzokhar Tsarnaev (who will be turning 21 on Tuesday), has been charged with the violent bombing as well as the usage of weapons of mass destruction in a public place. His alleged actions killed three people and injured 260 more on Patriots Day, during the most iconic U.S. marathon. According to prosecution, another party was involved with the planning of the attack as well as the explosions: Dzokhar Tsarnaev’s brother, Tamerian Tsarnaev.
A federal affidavit made text messages public between Kadyrbayev and Tsarnaev in which the first texts the latter that a photo had been release by the police in which the suspect beard a great resemblance to Dzokhar. Tsarnaev allegedly answered “Lol” and went on to instruct Kadyrbayev not to text him but rather go to his room and remove whatever he sought fit.
Hours after the text had been sent, Kadyrbayev went to the dorm room of Dzokhar Tsarnaev where he (according to prosecutors) removed his backpack (containing fireworks) and his laptop. Prosecutors also believe that Sean Collier (the police officer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology) was killed by Tsarnaev’s brothers.
On April 19th, authorities found Dzokhar Tsarnaev hiding in a boat. Currently, the presumed terrorist is being held without right of bail and is facing death penalty in the event that he is found guilty.