Opinion

Scared friend of Boston bomber released from jail with conditions

Robel Phillipos
Robel Phillipos

The American friend of Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev who was charged with lying to federal authorities was released on $100,000 bail Monday.

Robel Phillipos, 19, was ordered to wear an electronic ankle monitor while under home confinement, NBC News reported.

Phillipos was one of three friends of Tsarnaev arrested and charged last week for their actions after the Boston Marathon bombing.

Two of the suspects were charged with removing and destroying evidence from Tsarnaev’s dorm room, and Phillipos was charged with lying to federal authorities by initially saying he wasn’t in the dorm room, but then later said he was.

Fox News reported Phillipos lied three times to authorities, telling the truth on the fourth time he was questioned.

According to NBC News, Phillipos attorneys gave the sob story that their client was “’frightened and confused’ under questioning from investigators.”

The attorneys also claim it was a case of “sheer coincidence and bad luck” that Phillipos was even on the campus April 18 because he had taken a leave of absence from the University of Massachusetts-Darmouth during the spring semester, but attended a seminar that day.

According to NBC News:

In the court papers, lawyers described Phillipos as mild-mannered and peaceful, without a criminal record and with deep ties to his family, his church and the community in Cambridge, Mass.

The lawyers argued that Phillipos was questioned without a lawyer and made himself available to federal authorities at all times. The charge of lying has ruined what was a bright future, they said.

“This case is about a frightened and confused 19-year-old who was subjected to intense questioning and interrogation, without the benefit of counsel, and in the context of one of the worst attacks against the nation,” the lawyers wrote.

If convicted of lying to federal authorities, Phillipos faces eight years in jail and up to $250,000 fine.

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