WASHINGTON - A federal magistrate released a friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev from jail Monday on pretrial conditions that include 24-hour home confinement and $100,000 bail.
The friend, Robel Phillipos, a 19-year-old Boston native, is charged with making false statements to the FBI related to the April 15 explosions that killed three people and wounded more than 260. After a hearing before Magistrate Judge Marianne B. Bowler, Phillipos left the courthouse, surrounded by family and friends.
Phillipos must remain at his mother's Cambridge, Mass., home and wear a GPS bracelet, refrain from alcohol and illegal drugs, and leave the house only for medical emergencies.
He and two other friends of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were arrested May 1 after the FBI repeatedly visited their apartment in New Bedford, Mass. The friends and Tsarnaev were students at the nearby University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
According to a court affidavit by FBI Special Agent Scott P. Cieplik, Phillipos lied to federal agents, denying that he was at Tsarnaev's apartment after the bombing and claiming he was unaware of his friends' decision to hide Tsarnaev's backpack by tossing it into a trash bin.
Phillipos told agents he was shocked when he saw television images of the Tsarnaev brothers as the bombing suspects and said he tried to text Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, "but it would not go through."
Later, Phillipos said he did not remember being at Tsarnaev's dorm room, and then he denied he was there at all, Cieplik said. Three times he told the FBI that the friends had knocked on the door but it was locked, Cieplik said.
In a fourth interview, Phillipos "confessed that he had lied to the agents during his previous interviews," Cieplik said. Phillipos signed a statement admitting he saw the backpack with "approximately seven red tubular fireworks, approximately 6 to 8 inches in length."
Authorities believe the Tsarnaev brothers obtained gunpowder from fireworks to make the two bombs used at the marathon. The other two friends, Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, who are from Kazakhstan, are charged with obstructing justice.
Meanwhile, the funeral home that has the body of Tsarnaev's 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan, who was killed in a shootout with police, still has not found a cemetery willing to accept it.