As the November trial of Boston marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev inches closer, many of his friends also facing federal charges are learning their fate.
Twenty-year-old Dias Kadyrbayev pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice for taking a backpack, fireworks and a laptop from Tsarnaev's UMass-Dartmouth dorm room after Tsarnaev was identified by the FBI as one of the marathon bombing suspects. He faces up to seven years in prison if the judge accepts his plea deal.
"Dias understands that he should not have gone to that room and should not have taken items from that room and he hopes by accepting responsibility that people here in Boston and around the world will eventually understand that he did not do so out of malice or in any way to condone what the Tsarnaevs have allegedly done," Kadyrbayev's defense attorney Robert Stahl said.
Last month, Kadyrbayev's roommate Azamat Tazhayakov was convicted of similar charges and now faces up to 25 years in prison when sentenced Oct. 16. A third friend accused of lying to investigators, Robel Phillipos, is set to go on trial Sept. 29.
NECN Legal Editor Randy Chapman says it wouldn't be surprising to see Phillipos going after his own plea deal.
"Now that he knows he's probably not going to get any more than seven years, you would expect he might give some serious consideration to some type of a sentence," Chapman said.
Kadyrbayev's attorney would not comment Thursday if part of his client's deal was to testify against Tsarnaev, but Chapman says he thinks testimony from Kadyrbayev, Tazhayakov or Phillipos could actually be detrimental to the government's case.
"If anything they're likely to add some degree of mitigation because they can talk about his background history in a way that might humanize him a little bit, so I don't really think he's going to be helpful to the government in any respect," Chapman said.
The judge will decide whether to accept or reject Kadyrbayev's plea deal on Nov. 18.
Tsarnaev's trial is currently scheduled for Nov. 3, but his defense attorneys have said they intend to file a motion by next Friday asking to delay the trial. They have also filed a motion to move the trial to Washington, D.C.