A federal judge agreed on Thursday to appoint a new lawyer for Khairullozhon Matanov, a Quincy cabdriver and friend of the accused Boston Marathon bombers who has been charged with destroying evidence.
Matanov, 24, told US District Judge William G. Young that he felt more comfortable with an attorney he had worked with before his arrest in May, Paul Glickman. Matanov says he has been subjected to harsh treatment at the Plymouth County Correctional Facility, where he was being held in solitary confinement.
“He may not have been well treated there,” Glickman told reporters outside the courtroom, though he would not elaborate. Glickman has previously said that Matanov’s mental health was deteriorating while he was being held in solitary confinement.
Matanov has told supporters in letters that he has been beaten by corrections officers and ridiculed and harassed, and he watched another inmate attempt suicide.
Two suicides have occurred at the jail in recent weeks.
A spokesman for the Plymouth jail referred questions to the US Marshals Service, which is responsible for Matanov’s detention. Kevin Neal, a deputy Marshal, would not comment on security matters but said that Matanov has been transferred to the Donald Wyatt detention center in Central Falls, R.I.
Matanov’s previous lawyer, Edward Hayden, said he did not oppose the assignment of a new lawyer.
Hayden was appointed after Matanov’s arrest because Matanov could no longer afford to pay Glickman, whom he had retained while he was under investigation by the FBI.
Glickman is not on a list of lawyers who represent indigent clients in US District Court, and Young rejected an earlier request for him to be assigned at taxpayer expense. The judge agreed to appoint Glickman after Matanov renewed the request.
Glickman said he has been following the case and will be prepared for the scheduled June 2015 trial.
Matanov could face 15 years if he is convicted of destroying evidence.
Authorities allege that, despite realizing that the FBI would want to interview him about his friendship with the Tsarnaev brothers, Matanov deleted files from his computer and tried to get rid of his cellphones.
Authorities also allege that Matanov lied to investigators about his encounters with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother Tamerlan in the days after the bombings. Among those contacts: He allegedly had dinner with the Tsarnaev brothers the night of the Marathon.
Matanov is not accused of playing any role in the April 15, 2013, Marathon bombing, which killed three people and injured more than 260 people at the finish line.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, now 21, faces the death penalty if convicted of charges in the bombings.
Tamerlan, 26, was killed days after the bombing during a violent confrontation with police in Watertown.
The brothers are also accused of shooting and killing Sean Collier, an MIT police officer.Milton J. Valencia can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @miltonvalencia.