How Phillipos' Bombing Verdict Could Affect Tsarnaev's Trial

Legal experts say deliberations in the conviction of the friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev might impact Tsarnaev's trial.

How Phillipos' Bombing Verdict Could Affect Tsarnaev's Trial

A friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was found guilty Tuesday for two counts of lying to the FBI during a probe into the 2013 terrorist attack. Some are now speculating the deliberations in Robel Phillipos' conviction might affect how Tsarnaev's case is handled.

First, some background. Tsarnaev's lawyer originally asked the judge to move his client's trial to Washington, D.C, arguing a Boston jury might be biased because of possible emotional ties to the incident. (Video via ABC)

The judge denied that request, but Tsarnaev's lawyer will probably request another appeal. His chances of switching cities also look slim. Why? Well, let's go back to the Phillipos verdict for a second.

A Boston jury only found the 21-year-old guilty of about half of what prosecutors called false statements during interrogations, and it took the jury a pretty long time — more than 34 hours of deliberations over the course of six days. (Video via WFXT)

Legal experts told The Boston Globe this shows the jurors were split and weighed their decision carefully, proving a Boston jury could hold a fair trial for Tsarnaev. 

One defense lawyer is quoted in The Globe saying, "This is detrimental to any move by [Dzhokhar] Tsarnaev to get a change of venue in the case, because it shows that the jurors can be thoughtful and thorough and go through the evidence without a knee jerk reaction to a horrible case."

Additionally, according to a WBZ-TV legal analyst, Phillipos might actually end up testifying against Tsarnaev — which could make Phillipos look more favorable when his sentencing rolls around.

WBZ-TV LEGAL ANALYST HARRY MANIONK: "I think there's a big incentive for this young man to cooperate and come clean. ... I would really have a heart-to-heart with my client and look him in the eye and say, 'You got to make a real decision here.'"

Aside from that, Phillipos' lawyer is quoted by CNN saying her client also harbors some ill feelings toward his friend.

"I don't believe that Robel Phillipos has ever been more angry at a person than he was at Dzhokhar Tsarnaev when Robel found out that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev did what he did in this case. He was absolutely mortified."

Phillipos faces a maximum of 16 years behind bars. His sentencing is scheduled for January 29. As for Tsarnaev, he faces 30 federal charges and could get the death penalty. His trial begins in the same month.

This video includes an image from Getty Images.