- Associated Press - Friday, December 26, 2014

BOSTON (AP) - The legal aftermath of the Boston Marathon attacks dominated headlines in Massachusetts in 2014, much as the attack itself did last year and the accused bomber’s trial surely will in 2015.

Three friends of bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were convicted of hampering the investigation by removing evidence from his dorm room or lying to the FBI.

Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev were convicted of conspiracy and obstruction of justice for removing a backpack containing fireworks and other potential evidence while authorities were still looking for the suspected bombers. Another friend, Robel Phillipos, was convicted of lying to federal agents about being in the room.

As the three await sentencing, the government is preparing to put Tsarnaev on trial in January. He faces the possibility of the death penalty if convicted of plotting and carrying out the April 2013 attacks, which killed three people and wounded more than 260 others near the marathon finish line.

Other notable stories in Massachusetts in 2014:

- Charlie Baker put the governor’s office back into Republican hands for the first time since Mitt Romney left office in 2007, defeating Democratic state attorney general Martha Coakley.

- Former New England Patriots star tight end Aaron Hernandez, already indicted on murder charges in the 2013 shooting death of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd, was indicted on a murder charge accusing him of gunning down two men in 2012 after one of them accidentally spilled a drink on him at a Boston nightclub.

- Voters resoundingly rejected a statewide referendum that would have repealed the 2011 state law allowing for up to three regional resort casinos and a slots parlor. Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts International hope to break ground in 2015 on projects in Springfield and Everett and open the resorts by 2017.

- An improbable six-week worker revolt and customer boycott triggered by the firing of Market Basket CEO Arthur T. Demoulas led the family-owned supermarket chain to reinstate the popular executive after the company hemorrhaged millions in lost sales.

- A Blackstone woman was ordered held on $1 million bail after authorities found two severely neglected children and the skeletal remains of three infants in a home that locals dubbed the “House of Horrors” because it was filled with dirty diapers, animal carcasses, insects and rodents.

- Former state probation commissioner John O’Brien was convicted of rigging the agency’s hiring process to favor politically connected candidates. O’Brien was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison and fined $25,000 by a judge who said he was “appalled” by the corruption.

- Thomas Menino, Boston’s longest-serving mayor and one of its most beloved, died at age 71 after more than two decades running the city with a personal touch and what sometimes seemed like a mouthful of marbles.

- Workers unearthed not just one but two time capsules in Boston - one at the Old State House dating to 1901 and another at the current Statehouse believed originally to have been placed by Samuel Adams, Paul Revere and other Revolutionary War luminaries in 1795.

- Friends and relatives of former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates, stricken with Lou Gehrig’s disease, raised money by dousing people with ice water and posting video on social media - setting off a nationwide sensation, the ice bucket challenge.

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