Change of Trial Venue Again Denied for Tsarnaev Friend; Trial Date Set

Robel Phillipos.
Robel Phillipos. –AP

One of the college friends of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had his request to move his upcoming trial away from Boston denied on Tuesday afternoon.

Robel Phillipos, of Cambridge, will not be granted a change of venue for his trial that begins next month, Judge Douglas Woodlock ruled in US District Court in Boston.

Phillipos, 22, is accused of lying to investigators about removing items from Tsarnaev’s dorm room with two other friends the night of April 18, 2013, three days after the bombings killed three people and injured more than 260 others. He was not present at the court proceedings.


According to Kelley Tuthill of WCVB, Judge Woodlock told the court “I’m very satisfied we will be able to get a fair and impartial jury.’’

Defense attorneys, who argued that potential jurors in Boston would be biased toward their client, were asking for his federal trial to be moved to Springfield, Providence, R.I., or Portland, Maine.

This is the second time Phillipos’ attempt to move the trial has been rejected.

Opening statements are set to begin on Oct. 6.

Another friend of Tsarnaev and fellow student, Dias Kadyrbayev, is facing a seven-year prison sentence after he pleaded guilty last month to charges of hindering the investigation into the bombings. Kadyrbayev was charged for allegedly removing evidence from Tsarnaev’s dorm room.

A third friend, Azamat Tazhayakov, was found guilty in July of obsrtructing a terrorism probe. He was accused of hiding Tsarnaev’s backpack, which had fireworks in it. He is scheduled to be sentenced next month, when he could be sent to prison for as many as 25 years.

Tsarnaev’s trial is tentatively set to begin Nov. 3.

Loading Comments...


Get the latest breaking news sent directly to your phone. Download our free app.