Azamat Tazhayakov Convicted of Obstruction of Justice and Conspiracy in Boston

Azamat Tazhayakov has been found guilty of Obstruction of Justice and Conspiracy as to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's backpack, but not his laptop.

Juror Daniel Antonino told reporters the jury believed the laptop had been taken "because it was valuable, plain and simple," and not to influence the investigation.

The defense will appeal. Among other things, they say Azamat was prejudiced by the split verdict form.

Moral of the story: Don't talk to the Feds without a lawyer. Our prisons are filled with people who thought if they could only tell their side of the story, the cops would see it their way. It rarely happens. Ask for a lawyer immediately and don't talk until you've consulted one. [More...]

Azamat will be sentenced in October. The obstruction charge carries a maximum of 20 years and the conspiracy carries a maximum of 5 years. However, the sentencing guidelines are far less . I hope he gets time served.

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    not far enough. (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by cpinva on Mon Jul 21, 2014 at 05:28:00 PM EST
    "Moral of the story: Don't talk to the Feds without a lawyer."

    don't talk to any law enforcement, without a lawyer present. I have taught my children that, should they be questioned, law enforcement is NOT YOUR FRIEND. they have the legal right to do/say anything, to get you to confess, even if you're not guilty of anything. take everything they say/do with a 50lb sack of salt. you have the right to remain silent, exercise it.

    I agree completely with you and (none / 0) (#3)
    by Green26 on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 11:16:10 AM EST
    Jeralyn. In my line of work, I have seen scores of people get into serious trouble by thinking they could explain their way through a situation or who thought they were not directly involved and would never become a target of the investigation. Frequent lines of police or investigators are: "If you didn't do anything wrong, why are you unwilling to talk to me?" Better to keep silent and consult a lawyer. Also, don't text, tweet or email about the event.

    What is the term of art referring to (none / 0) (#4)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 01:29:37 PM EST
    tweet or facebook or other online evidence?

    Jeralyn's used it in the past. I'm going into a town meeting tonight in which one of the issues is the desire to limit meeting minutes to an outline form only, motions forwarded and disposal thereof.  Since every meeting has been recorded for posterity on livestream, it seems like fiction to imagine that any future litigants will limit their examination of board member motivations to the minutes.


    It's really just stuff put in writing (none / 0) (#9)
    by Green26 on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 11:58:09 AM EST
    that is preserved and can be found or discovered later. In the modern world, it turns out to be email, texts, tweets, etc. more than handwritten or typewritten letters or memos. And in letters or memos, people tend to write better and edit--so they don't say as much stupid stuff that can come back to haunt them. And they are not writing letters in the moment, like happens with texts and tweets.

    As for your town/board meeting, I agree that recording the whole meeting somewhat overrides what is accomplished with summaries, etc. Nevertheless, what your town does is generally the best way to do it, except for the recording (altho many public forums are taped or recorded). I don't like recordings of board or shareholders/homeowner meetings, because they can be hard to hear, some people are not heard, and some statements can be used later to undercut what is put in the minutes and resolutions, as the official action of the meeting. Some board/groups use recordings only to do the minutes, and then destroy them. Generally, larger corporations and companies don't record board or shareholders meetings. Recording comes up more often in the non-profit and homeowner setting. Again, public bodies are their own genre, and are subject to open meeting laws and recording by the media.


    I Agree (none / 0) (#2)
    by RickyJim on Mon Jul 21, 2014 at 08:27:26 PM EST
    But it is not clear to me that in this case it would have avoided a conviction.  The feds knew the messages Dzhokhar exchanged with these guys and the roommate saw them rifle through the former's stuff.  Is there an innocent explanation for taking and then throwing away the backpack?  On the other hand, maybe if all three had taken the fifth, the feds would have never found out the backpack was missing.

    Fo sho, the feds are not your friends and (none / 0) (#5)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 01:52:36 PM EST
    don't ever agree to talking w/o your attorney present.

    Of course the other perhaps more important moral of the story is to stay far, far away from your friend's apartment and his belongings after he blows up a couple bombs and kills and maims hundreds of people.

    If these kids... (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by unitron on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 12:09:50 AM EST
    ...knew or had reason to suspect that their buddy was involved in the bombing and went there anyway they deserve to be up on charges of felonious stupidity.

    As it is... (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by unitron on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 12:11:02 AM EST
    ...I can't help but wonder if this guy wasn't pursued for "knowing one of the bombers while having a funny sounding name".

    Ironically, in Philadelphia today, after a trial (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Peter G on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 07:44:25 PM EST
    that lasted almost two months, a bunch of Traffic Court judges and their cronies were found not guilty of all charges of mail-and-wire fraud, etc., that the feds brought against them (bogus and trumped up, in my view, but that's kind of beside the point), except for certain charges of perjury (before the grand jury) and false statements to FBI agent interviewers.  If only they had taken the Fifth, as every innocent (or guilty) person has the right to do, and/or kept their mouths shut, they would all have walked entirely. And these defendants were themselves judges and friends of judges.

    Remaining silent (none / 0) (#8)
    by Mikado Cat on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 08:34:07 AM EST
    goes against human nature, we have a desire to confess, spill the beans, etc.

    What is even worse many can't seem to resist lying.

    Single mother is looking at 10 years in NJ for telling a cop during a ticket that she had a CCW and gun in the glovebox.

    Off topic - and false (none / 0) (#10)
    by Yman on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 06:34:04 PM EST