Three friends of suspected Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev who are facing charges of obstructing the subsequent investigation will be tried separately, a federal judge ruled on Monday, according to a reports.
US District Judge Douglas Woodlock also ruled that there is no reason to believe that a trial in Boston would prevent a “impartial’’ jury from delivering a “fair’’ and informed verdict on behalf of Tsarnaev’s college buddies, Dias Kadyrbayev, Azamat Tazhayakov, and Robel Phillipos, according to Reuters.
"A fair and vetted jury will be fair and impartial and will take seriously their responsibilities and can be chosen even in a community where an extraordinary event took place," he said.
Still, Reuters reported that Woodlock has initiated a possible jury selection in Springfield, Mass., just in case.
Two of the suspects — Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov — were first known to FBI agents when they raided a New Bedford apartment on the morning of April 19, 2013. Agents had traced one of Tsarnaev’s cell phone calls to the address, the Boston Globe reports.
The Associated Press reported that Tazhayakov will be tried first on June 30, Kadyrbayev will be next on September 8, followed by Phillipos on September 29.
If convicted of conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges, Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev face up to 25 years in prison. If found guilty, Phillipos could be sentenced up to 16 years in prison.
Prosecutors said they expect for each trial to last no longer than two weeks.