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Friend of accused Boston bomber denied dorm visit: FBI agent

A friend of the accused Boston Marathon bomber denied visiting the suspect's college dorm room three days after the deadly attack, but later admitted to the visit, an FBI agent who interviewed the man testified on Wednesday.

Robel Phillipos leaves court on Monday Oct. 6, 2014. Photo: Nicolaus Czarnecki, Metro Robel Phillipos leaves court on Monday Oct. 6, 2014. Photo: Nicolaus Czarnecki, Metro

A friend of the accused Boston bomber denied visiting the suspect's college dorm room three days after the deadly attack, but later admitted to the visit, an FBI agent who interviewed the man testified on Wednesday.

Robel Phillipos, 21, is on trial on charges he lied to the FBI about a visit to the suspected bomber's college dorm room three days after the attack that killed three people and injured more than 260, as investigators were hunting for the suspect.

"The first time I asked him, he said he didn't recall entering, the second time I asked him he said he did not" enter bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's dorm room, FBI special agent Timothy Quinn testified at U.S. District Court in Boston on Wednesday.

Earlier in the trial, agents produced a written statement from Phillipos following agents' questioning in which he admitted to visiting the room.

Two other friends, exchange students from Kazakhstan, accompanied Phillipos on the visit to Tsarnaev's room at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, where they removed a backpack containing empty fireworks shells.

One of the Kazakhs, Azamat Tazhayakov, was convicted in July of obstruction of justice for taking the backpack. The other, Dias Kadyrbayev, pleaded guilty to obstruction in August.

Phillipos' attorneys argued that their client, who faces up to 16 years in prison if convicted, was too intoxicated on marijuana the day the visit occurred to have any clear memory of what he did, and thus could not have lied to investigators.

On Wednesday, FBI's Quinn testified that Phillipos "said he was stoned and he said he had told Dias that he was stoned" that night.

Tsarnaev, 21, is awaiting trial on charges that carry the death penalty.

 

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