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Tsarnaev friend convicted of hiding Boston bombing evidence seeks new trial

The friend of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is seeking a new trial after a jury found him guilty earlier this month of obstructing the investigation into the deadly terror attack, according to court documents filed Monday.

Azamat Tazhayakov Azamat Tazhayakov in federal court on July 7, 2014. Sketch by Jane Collins.

The friend of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is seeking a new trial after a jury found him guilty earlier this month of obstructing the investigation into the deadly terror attack, according to court documents filed Monday.

Attorneys for Azamat Tazhayakov, 20, asked that a judge toss his guilty conviction on obstruction charges or grant him a new trial on the grounds that federal prosecutors did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Tazhayakov removed evidence linking Tsarnaev to the Boston bombing.

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Defense attorney Nicholas Wooldridge said in the court filing that "the weight of the evidence in this case is clearly against the verdict as the government failed to prove each element of every count beyond a reasonable doubt."

Tazhayakov was accused along with another college friend, Dias Kadyrbayev, of removing a backpack containing empty fireworks, a laptop, vaseline and a hard drive from Tsarnaev’s dorm room days after the April 15, 2013 attack.

He 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.

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
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