Azamat Tazhayakov, friend of younger, dreamier Boston Bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, is currently on trial for obstruction of justice. Tazhayakov is one of three Dzhokhar friends who will each be tried separately on similar charges — and now the equally grievous charge of copping Dzhokar's stash.
Testimony on this unexpected new accusation came Tuesday, when Dzhokhar's dorm mate at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Andrew Dwinells, took the stand in a Boston federal court.
The cases against Tazhayakov, as well as Robel Phillipos and Dias Kadyrbayev, all 20, are serving as an interesting preamble in that they at least seem intended to pressure the three young men into becoming more cooperative witnesses for the prosecution in Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's trial, which is slated for this coming November. (Not that there's anything wrong with that. Rough justice can be cool sometimes.) Both Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev are being tried for interfering with a terrorism investigation and are facing a maximum sentence of 20 years for allegedly attempting to dispose of a backpack belonging to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev that contained manipulated fireworks, as well as Tsarnaev's laptop. Phillipos is accused of lying to investigators and faces a potential eight year sentence.
Already, lawyers for Tazhayakov are running with the claim that Kadyrbayev acted alone in removing Tsarnaev's allegedly incriminating personal effects. So, it isn't looking good for Dias Kadyrbayev right now.
Where's the weed at?
Andrew Dwinells said he found it strange when one of Tsarnaev's friends approached him on the night of April 18 — hours after the FBI released photos of the bombing suspects — and asked for access to the room that Dwinells shared with Tsarnaev. This friend explained that Tsarnaev was leaving the country and needed some items retrieved.
After Dwinells let him in, this friend began rummaging through Tsarnaev's things, and appeared to take a bag of marijuana from a desk drawer, Dwinells said, though he did not remember whether anything else was taken. Soon, two other UMass Dartmouth friends of Tsarnaev entered and briefly watched Tsarnaev's television.
Later, when the trio left, Dwinells decided he should let Tsarnaev know about the odd visit.
"This was abnormal," Dwinells said Tuesday in federal court in Boston.
Dwinells is a good roommate. If more college roommates felt this way and called their roommates immediately afterward, less weed would be stolen.
[image via Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's Twitter profile]