- ISIL creates all-female brigade to terrorize women into following Sharia law
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama to Latin leaders: Help with border
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
Man accused of lying after Boston bombings seeks release
Question of the Day
BOSTON (AP) — Lawyers for a man charged with lying to investigators after the Boston Marathon bombings are asking a federal judge to release him from jail, saying he had nothing to do with the deadly bombings and isn't a flight risk.
Robel Phillipos, 19, of Cambridge, Mass., faces a detention hearing Monday in U.S. District Court. Defense attorneys said in court documents filed Saturday that authorities' claim that Mr. Phillipos gave them conflicting accounts is "refutable."
"This case is about a frightened and confused 19 year old who was subjected to intense questioning and interrogation, without the benefit of counsel, and in the context of one of the worst attacks against the nation," lawyers Derege Demissie and Susan Church wrote. "The weight of the federal government under such circumstances can have a devastatingly crushing effect on the ability of an adolescent to withstand the enormous pressure and respond rationally."
Mr. Phillipos was charged last week with lying to investigators about visiting bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's college dorm room on April 18, three days after the bombings. Two other friends were charged with conspiring to obstruct justice by taking a backpack with fireworks and a laptop from Mr. Tsarnaev's dorm room.
Mr. Phillipos was at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, where all four men had studied, by coincidence on April 18, his lawyers said in the court papers. He had taken a leave of absence in December and hadn't spoken to Mr. Tsarnaev or the other two men for more than two months, they said.
"By sheer coincidence and bad luck, he was invited to attend a seminar on campus on April 18," the night the three allegedly went to Mr. Tsarnaev's dorm room, according to the documents. "As such, he did not have much to offer the authorities regarding the investigation of the suspect."
To support their request for bail, the lawyers filed affidavits from friends and relatives of Mr. Phillipos who described him as a considerate, thoughtful and friendly young man, the son of a single mother who emigrated to the United States from Ethiopia. They said he wasn't a flight risk, noting that he is lifelong resident of Massachusetts and has many relatives there.
Mr. Phillipos faces a maximum of eight years behind bars and a $250,000 fine if convicted.
Mr. Tsarnaev and his 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan, are accused of carrying out the April 15 bombing, which used pressure cookers packed with explosives, nails, ball bearings and metal shards. The attack killed three people and injured more than 260 others near the marathon's finish line.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev died after a gunfight with police days later. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was captured and remains in a prison hospital. He has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction and faces a potential death sentence if convicted.
TWT Video Picks
By Drew Johnson
Inept government shouldn't be entrusted with the power to kill its citizens
- Rahm Emanuel: Send illegal immigrant shelter kids to Chicago
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- U.S. evacuates embassy in Libya amid violent clashes between militias
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Obama: U.S. should 'embrace an economic patriotism that says we rise or fall together'
- CANNON: With Russia, different airline crash, same results
- Joan Rivers: CNN should be 'ashamed' of its Israel, Gaza reporting
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq