Boston Marathon bombing suspect's friend indicted
By Bridget Murphy, The Associated Press
August 30, 2013

BOSTON Prosecutors portray a friend of the surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect as a liar who misled terrorism investigators, but his lawyers said after his indictment Thursday it'll be clear in time that authorities shouldn't have charged him.

Authorities said Robel Phillipos faces up to 16 years in prison in connection with two federal counts of lying to authorities investigating the deadly April attack. Defense lawyers said the 19-year-old will continue to fight the allegations against him after efforts to get authorities to dismiss the charges failed.

''In time, it will be clear that this prosecution should not have been brought in the first place,'' the lawyers said in an emailed statement.

Following Phillipos' May arrest on one count of lying to authorities, a judge ordered him released on $100,000 bond, putting him on home confinement and electronic monitoring.

Phillipos and 20-year-old bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were members of the 2011 graduating class at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School before becoming students at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth.

In arguing for bail in May, Phillipos' lawyers portrayed him as a frightened and confused young man ''who was subjected to intense questioning and interrogation, without the benefit of counsel, and in the context of one of the worst attacks against the nation.''

Friends and relatives have described him in court documents as a considerate and thoughtful person who was the son of a single mother from Ethiopia. Court records also showed that Phillipos had experience working as a receptionist in a community center, as a math tutor and as a teacher's assistant at a child care center and that he'd been majoring in marketing and minoring in sociology at college. - An African-American news and views website.
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