A Quincy cabdriver is slated to stand trial in June 2015 on charges that he destroyed evidence in the investigation of his friends, the accused Boston Marathon bombers.
The trial date for Khairullozhon Matanov was set by a federal judge Friday as his lawyers raised concerns that Matanov’s mental health is suffering as he is being held, without bail, in solitary confinement.
“It’s a very stressful situation; he’s getting through it day by day,” his lawyer, Edward Hayden, said.
US District Court Judge William G. Young refused a request to appoint attorney Paul M. Glickman to serve as cocounsel to Hayden.
Matanov, a 23-year-old native of Kyrgyzstan, retained Glickman when he first learned investigators were looking into his ties to Dzokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev last year.
Glickman said in a court filing Thursday that his familiarity with the case could help Matanov, “whose ability to respond lucidly to questions has deteriorated because of his solitary confinement.”
“Because Mr. Matanov is a very scared young man, thousands of miles away from his family members and facing serious criminal charges that may result in his exclusion from the United States, I believe that the trusting attorney-client relationship I have built with Mr. Matanov is critical to an adequate defense of this case,” Glickman said in an affidavit filed in court.
Glickman is not on the list of lawyers who can be appointed in federal cases, however. Young refused to appoint him, but agreed to pay him a $2,500 consulting fee to assist Hayden.
Hayden told Young that he expected to appeal Matanov’s detention. He agreed to the June 2015 trial date based on the amount of evidence he still has to review.
Assistant US Attorney Scott Garland told Young that Matanov faces 15 years under sentencing guidelines if convicted of the charges.
“They’re very serious,” he said.
Authorities allege that Matanov, despite realizing that the FBI would want to interview him about his relationship with the suspected bombers, deleted files from his computer and tried to get rid of his cellphones. They also allege that Matanov lied to investigators about his encounters with the brothers in the days after the bombings. Among those contacts: He allegedly had dinner with the brothers the night of the bombings.
Matanov is not, however, accused of playing any role in the April 15, 2013, Boston Marathon bombing, which killed three people and injured more than 260 people at the Marathon finish line.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, now 20, faces the death penalty if convicted of charges in the bombings. His older brother and alleged accomplice Tamerlan, 26, was killed days after the bombing during a violent confrontation with police in Watertown. The brothers also allegedly shot and killed Sean Collier, an MIT police officer.
Three of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s college friends from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth have been charged with hindering the investigation of the bombing suspect. A jury is deliberating in the case of trial of Azamat Tazhayakov, 20, who is charged with obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice.