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“Some of his family live in Syria, and it’s an added stress factor … stress about how his family is faring,” Joshua Dratel, another of Masri’s attorneys, told her.

Leading up to Tuesday’s hearing, the defendant’s older brother sought to soften Masri’s image, sending a letter to the judge describing him as lively and kind, and as “our neighborhood’s favorite boy” when they were growing up.

“Older people used to love chatting with him, because he had a wild imagination and would tell fantastic stories,” Anas Almasri wrote.