Updates from the Courtroom: Tsarnaev Friend on Trial

In this courtroom sketch, defendant Azamat Tazhayakov (center), a college friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, stood for arraignment with his attorney, Nicholas Wooldridge (left) in federal court on Sept. 13, 2013 .
Tazhayakov, right, at his arraignment in September, 2013. –Jane Flavell Collins/AP photo

Azamat Tazhayakov is accused of impeding the Boston Marathon bombing investigation. Tazhayakov and his roommate allegedly removed a backpack, fireworks, and a laptop from Tsarnaev’s UMass-Dartmouth dorm room just days after two bombs exploded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

The alleged crimes began three days after the bombing, on April 18, 2013, reports The Boston Globe. Tazhayakov faces obstruction of justice and conspiracy charges and has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys made opening statements in federal court this morning.

The Associated Press reported that US Attorney Stephanie Siegmann “told the jury that a month before the bombings, Tsarnaev told Tazhayakov and another friend that ‘it was good to die’ a martyr because you would die ‘with a smile on your face and go straight to heaven.’’’ In the defense’s opening statement, Tazhayakov’s lawyer reportedly said his client “isn’t a terrorist and never intended to help bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.’’

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Four witnesses also testified on the first day. Tazhayakov’s trial is expected to last approximately 3 weeks.

Here’s what was reported from the courtroom today:

Read the full Boston Globe story here.