One of the college friends of alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal judge Friday to dismiss charges that he lied to investigators about visiting Tsarnaev’s dorm room several days after the attack, saying he repeatedly told authorities he could not recall the visit because he was high on marijuana.
Robel Phillipos attended the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth with Tsarnaev, and he ultimately admitted that he accompanied two friends to Tsarnaev’s dorm room after authorities released a picture of the suspected bomber to news organizations. The other two friends were later accused of removing evidence from the dorm room, including a backpack filled with fireworks and a computer.
Lawyers for Phillipos said in a court filing Friday that their client spent the entire day of the visit smoking marijuana and that federal agents would not accept his repeated statement that he did not recall entering the room. Phillipos, who knew Tsarnaev from their days at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, also gave differing accounts of what the other two friends did, but said he could not recall clearly, because he was “stoned.”
The lawyers asserted in a motion to dismiss the case that Phillipos was repeatedly interrogated over seven days and was forced to sign a statement of what occurred, much of which he did not remember. They also noted he did not have a lawyer.
“Phillipos had no intention of misleading the authorities in any way,” the attorneys, Derege B. Demissie and Susan Church, said in a prepared statement.
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