Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

By Richard A. Serrano, Tribune Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — A friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was convicted Monday of hindering the FBI investigation into the April 2013 blast by hiding Tsarnaev’s backpack from authorities.

Azamat Tazhayakov, convicted in federal court on Boston, now faces up to 20 years in prison and becomes the first of three Tsarnaev friends to be tried in cases spawned from the marathon bombing, which killed three people and injured more than 260 others. He was acquitted of separate charges of trying to dispose of Tsarnaev’s laptop computer.

Jurors reached the split verdict after prosecutors accused Tazhayakov of deliberately removing the backpack from Tsarnaev’s college dorm room after Tsarnaev sent him computer messages telling him to dispose of some of his belongings. Prosecutors also noted that after the bombings, Tazhayakov repeatedly followed the bombing case on his computer, even as federal agents were trying to locate Tsarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

The backpack contained fireworks, a jar of Vaseline, a thumb drive, and other items, and Tazhayakov and a friend took it to their apartment in nearby New Bedford, Mass.

But defense lawyers for Tazhayakov said it was the other friend who actually removed the backpack and that Tazhayakov were merely there with him in the Tsarnaev dorm room. The defense attorneys described Tazhayakov as a “good kid” and a “mama’s boy.”

Still to be tried are the other friends — Dias Kadyrbayev and Robel Phillipos. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is scheduled to stand trial in November in the bombing. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a shootout with police.

AFP Photo / Stan Honda

Interested in national news? Sign up for our daily email newsletter!

Screenshot from Juice Media's 'Honest Government Ad'

Imagine for a moment that someone had administered truth serum to he swindlers and con men of the Trump administration. Then imagine that those morally reformed Trumpsters in Washington made a television ad for Trump-Pence 2020, featuring the government's achievements since 2017.

The resulting commercial might well look something like this offering from the friendly Aussies at Juice Media, except definitely not as funny. The cheerfully foul-mouthed young lady who presents the facts has a lot to tell you about these past few years. And it's all true!

Just click and chuckle.