Robel Phillipos, friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, on October 28, was found guilty by a federal jury in Boston. Phillipos was convicted of lying to the FBI agents involved in the investigation of the 2013 attack.
Phillipos was guilty on two counts of lying about being in Tsarnaev’s room 3 days after the bombing while two other friends went through Tsarnaev’s backpack, removing fireworks and other potential evidence. Although he did not participate in removing the items from the room, he lied to the FBI agents of his whereabouts.
Lying to an FBI agent usually carries a maximum of a five-year sentence for each count, but because he lied during a federal terrorism investigation, the jury decided that Phillipos should receive an eight-year sentence for each count. Phillipos will serve 16 years in prison.
Phillipos’ lawyers stated that he was only a scared 19 year-old, intimidated by the FBI. They also claimed that he did not intentionally lie, for he was too high on marijuana to even recall clearly what he’d done that night. Phillipos’ friends say he had smoked marijuana several times that day.
When the verdict was read Phillipos showed no emotion. He will be under house arrest until the day of his sentence in late January.