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4th Day of Jury Deliberations in Robel Phillipos Trial

The jury is in its fourth day of deliberations in the trial of Robel Phillipos, the friend of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev charged with two counts of making a false statement to federal officials in a terror investigation. Count One pertains to his statements to authorities on April 20, 2013, and Count 2 relates to statements made on April 25, 2013.

One of the reasons it may be taking so long: The jury must be unanimous as to any particular false statement he made. While there are only two counts, there are two allegedly false statements in the first count and seven in the second count. The jury has to discuss and arrive at a consensus on each. [More....]

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Azamat Tazhayakov Testifies Against Robel Phillipos

Hoping to get a lower sentence when he is sentenced for obstruction of justice, Azamat Tazhayakov testified against his friend Robel Philippos yesterday. Phillipos is charged with making false statements to the FBI. Initially, the FBI says, he lied about being in the dorm room. Then it claims he lied about the actions of his two friends, Azamat and Dias Kadyrbayev, who were present in the dorm room, with respect to what he saw and heard later at their apartment. Tsarnaev had already been named a suspect at the time, and his photo had been released to the media. Twitter has more coverage from reporters who were live-tweeting from the courtroom. They don't seem to have used a uniform hashtag -- a search within Twitter for Robel brings most of them up.

Phillipos defense is he was so stoned on pot he didn't remember events well enough to accurately recount them. Azamat, convicted in July, testified Phillipos didn't seem all that stoned. He did confirm that Robel had smoked pot several times that night and the next morning.

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Tsarnaev Friend's Trial Opens with Stoner Defense

Opening arguments began today in the trial of Robel Phillipos, the third friend of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to be charged with a crime related to the removal of items from Tsarnaev's dorm room after Tsarnaev was identified as a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings.

He is charged with making false statements to the FBI. His defense: He was "stoned out of his mind."

Friend Azamat Tazhayakov was found guilty of obstruction of justice at a trial in July; Dias Kadyrbayev pleaded guilty to obstruction in August. Neither have been sentenced yet. A fourth friend, Steven Silva, is awaiting trial on gun charges.

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Third Friend of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Indicted

Robel Phillipos, the third friend of Jahar Tsarnaev who was arrested for making false statements to the FBI related to the terrorism investigation into the Boston Marathon bombing, has now been indicted. He's charged with two counts of making a false statement in a matter involving domestic or international terrorism. The Indictment is here. It alleges his false statements material and made knowingly and willfully.

His attorneys previously said they were working on a disposition. No more. They now say he will fight the charges. My translation: Negotiations over sentencing broke down. [More...]

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Govt Agrees to Bond for Robel Phillipos

The Government and Defense have filed a joint motion to continue today's hearing in Robel Phillipos case. It includes a stipulation for release on bond. From the Motion:

Since the initial appearance, the parties have conferred extensively and now agree that the Court can fashion strict conditions of release that will reasonably assure the defendant’s appearance at future proceedings.

Specifically, the parties recommend that the Court impose the following conditions: (a) home confinement at the residence of a third-party custodian; (b) defendant shall be monitored for 24 hours a day on an electronic bracelet; and [c] his release will be secured by a secured bond in the amount of $100,000.

Robel filed a motion for bond on Saturday. Links to bond pleadings are here.

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Sunday Tsarnaev-Related News

The FBI is again searching the residence where Tamerlan Tsarnaev lived with his wife at 410 Norfolk St.

Ruslan Tsarnev (the uncle from Maryland) is at the funeral home where the director is still pleading for the Government to step in and find a place to bury Tamerlan, whose body is now being prepared for a proper Muslim burial.

Defendant Robel Phillipos is seeking bail. I have uploaded the bond motion, his mother's affidavit and Robel's resume. [More...]

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