U.S.

Boston Bombing Suspect's Friend Convicted Of Hiding Evidence

Azamat Tazhayakov has been found guilty of obstructing justice by tampering with the belongings of Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Boston Bombing Suspect's Friend Convicted Of Hiding Evidence
VKontakte / Dias Kadyrbayev
SMS

A classmate of Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been found guilty of obstructing the investigation into the attack.

A federal jury convicted Azamat Tazhayakov of conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges after prosecutors claimed Tazhayakov removed evidence from Tsarnaev's room after the bombing, including a laptop and a backpack full of fireworks. (Via The Boston Globe, FBI)

Jurors cleared Tazhayakov of tampering with the laptop but said he was guilty of obstructing justice by removing the backpack, which police recovered from a landfill after Tazhayakov threw it away. (Via The Boston Globe)

After the verdict was handed down, Tazhayakov's attorney suggested his client might not have gotten a fair trial since the proceedings were held in Boston.

"When your city has been through a traumatic event, the jurors come in with a certain bias. It's hard to overcome that bias. ... The juror's under a certain pressure from the community to possibly render a certain verdict." (Via WHDH)

Tazhayakov's sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 16. He could face up to 20 years in prison for the obstruction charge, along with up to five years for the conspiracy.

The trial also shed more light on Tsarnaev, who's accused of killing three people and wounding more than 260 in the bombings. Prosecutors say months before the attack, Tsarnaev told his friend it was good to die as a martyr, and said he knew how to make a bomb. (Via Getty Images, 2)

The state also released this video showing Tsarnaev and a student who the FBI believes to be Tazhayakov at the gym on the day after the attack. (Via Boston.com)

Tazhayakov is the first person related to the Boston Marathon bombings to be convicted. Two of Tsarnaev's other friends will stand trial later this year, and Tsarnaev himself will appear in court sometime in November.