fb-pixel Skip to main content

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s friend to be released from prison

Azamat Tazhayakov (center) stood between his attorneys as the verdict was read in his trial on July 21, 2014.Jane Flavell Collins/Associated Press

One of the college friends of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is slated to complete a federal prison sentence Thursday.

Azamat Tazhayakov, 22, is being held at the minimum security prison in Ashland, Ky. Upon his release, the native of Kazakhstan is likely to be transferred from the federal Bureau of Prisons to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody to face deportation proceedings.

Tazhayakov attended the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth with Tsarnaev. He was sentenced in June 2015 to 42 months in prison for obstruction of justice, for lying to investigators about the last time he saw Tsarnaev before the bombings, and for discarding items he found in Tsarnaev’s dorm room, including a backpack containing fireworks.


Two other friends were also convicted of lying to investigators. Dias Kadyrbayev, 22, who helped discard the fireworks, was sentenced to six years in prison. He is slated to complete his sentence in July 2018. He is also a Kazakhstan national and will likely be deported.

Tazhayakov cooperated with authorities and testified against Kadyrbayev.

Robel Phillipos, a US citizen who attended high school with Tsarnaev in Cambridge, was sentenced to three years in prison for lying to investigators. He is slated to complete his sentence in February 2018.

Tsarnaev, 22, was sentenced to death in June 2015. He is appealing that sentence, and is being held at the federal supermax prison in Colorado.

Azamat Tazhayakov, left, and Dias Kadyrbayev, center, knew Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, right, at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth.

Milton Valencia can be reached at milton.valencia@globe.com.