Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (R) poses with Azamat Tazhayakov (L) and Dias Kadyrbayev in an undated photo taken in New York. Credit: vk.com/Reuters
A friend of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is expected to change his plea to guilty Thursday on obstruction of justice charges, federal officials announced today.
Dias Kadyrbayev, a Kazakh national, is accused of trying to protect Tsarnaev in he wake of the deadly April 15, 2013 bombing by removing a backpack and a laptop from Tsarnaev's dorm room at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and disposing of the items.
A plea hearing is set for 2 p.m. Thursday in federal court in Boston.
Last month, a mutual friend of Tsarnaev and Kadyrbayev, Azamat Tazhayakov, was found guilty of obstruction charges after pleading not guilty. Unlike Kadyrbayev, Tazhayakov allegedly never touched the items.
Kadyrbayev faces a maximum 20-year prison sentence on the obstruction of justice charge, and up to five years in prison on the conspiracy charge. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 16.