Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s college friend again seeks change of venue - The Boston Globe
A college friend of alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is again seeking a change of venue for his trial on charges of making false statements to investigators probing the bombings.
Robel Phillipos is seeking to have his trial moved from Boston to either Springfield; Portland, Maine; or Providence.
Phillipos’s attorneys argue in a filing today in US District Court in Boston that pretrial publicity has made it impossible for Phillipos to receive a fair trial before an impartial jury.
“Mr. Phillipos deserves an unfettered and unbiased jury. Without a change of venue, the defendant cannot receive such a jury under the unique circumstances of this case,” the filing said.
It is Phillipos’s second motion for a change of venue.
Phillipos is one of three friends of Tsarnaev’s from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth who faced charges in connection with the removal of bombing case evidence from Tsarnaev’s dorm room. Azamat Tazhayakov was convicted in July. Dias Kadyrbayev pleaded guilty in August.
Phillipos is charged with lying to investigators about being with Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev on the night, three days after the bombings, that they entered the dorm room.
Tsarnaev is facing a November trial on charges that could bring him the death penalty in the April 15, 2013, bombings that killed three people and wounded more than 260 others. He and his late older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, also allegedly murdered an MIT police officer several days after the bombing. Shortly afterward, the older brother was killed in a confrontation with police. The younger brother escaped, but after a massive manhunt, was captured.