The roommate, Andrew Dwinells, who has largely avoided the
spotlight since the April 15, 2013, attack that killed three people
and injured 264, testified on Tuesday that he had not known Tsarnaev
before the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth assigned them to
be roommates in September 2012.
"We shared a room but we didnít talk much. We talked about TV or
movies, whatever was on, but just small talk," Dwinells said in U.S.
District Court in Boston. "We were just acquaintances."
He testified that defendant Azamat Tazhayakov, accompanied by two
other friends of the accused bomber, arrived at his room three days
after the bombing and said that Tsarnaev had told them to take a few
Prosecutors contend that the three, who went to Tsarnaev's room
after the FBI released pictures of him at the site of the bombing,
took a laptop computer and backpack filled with empty fireworks
shells from his room and later dropped the backpack into a dumpster
in an attempt to cover up for their friend.
Tazhayakov's attorneys said their client never touched the laptop or
backpack, contending that fellow Kazakh exchange student Dias
Kadyrbayev did so.
The three are not charged with playing any role in the bombing,
which stands as the largest mass-casualty attack on U.S. soil since
Sept. 11, 2001.
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Tazhayakov could face up to 25 years in prison if convicted of
obstruction of justice and conspiracy. Kadyrbayev faces the same
charges, while a third friend, Robel Phillipos, is accused of the
lesser charge of lying to investigators. The other two men face
trial in the fall.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is awaiting trial on charges that carry the death
penalty if convicted.
(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Eric Walsh)
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