Court documents just unsealed from the trial of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev revealed that Tsarnaev allegedly told a college classmate that his brother Tamerlan “had committed jihad” through his involvement in a previous triple murder.
The case involved the murders of Raphael Teken, 37, Erik Weissman, 31, and Tamerlan’s friend Brendan Mess, 25 on Sept. 11, 2011. According to federal prosecutors, the three “were bound, their throats were cut, and at least one of them had marijuana sprinkled over his body.”
Recently unsealed court documents revealed that Dzhokhar’s college roommate Dias Kadyrbayev, 24, told his lawyer that Dzhokhar had told him that Tamerlan was involved in the murders, which Dzhokhar referred to as “jihad.”
Kadyrbayev was charged with obstruction for removing a backpack, laptop, fireworks and other incriminating items from Dzhokhar’s dorm room at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth after the bombings.
Kadyrbayev offered to testify against Dzhokhar in exchange for leniency. Dzhokhar’s lawyers wanted the jurors to hear Kadyrbayev’s testimony as part of their strategy to paint Tamerlan as the driving force behind the bombings. However, the testimony was nixed from the trial after prosecutors objected and the judge agreed.
Tamerlan and Dzhokhar planted the bombs that killed three and injured several hundred people in 2013 at the Boston Marathon.
Tamerlan was killed in an ensuing firefight with police and Dzhokhar was captured. Dzhokhar was sentenced to death in 2015 after being found guilty on 30 counts that were brought against him.
The deadline for his first appeal to overturn that death sentence is December 19.
Investigators recovered all the items Kadyrbayev removed except for the laptop from a landfill in New Bedford. Kadyrbayev ended up pleading guilty to obstruction charges and was sentenced to six years in prison. He was released in August and deported to Kazakhstan.
The triple murder case remains officially unsolved even though Tamarlan’s friend, Ibragim Todashev, confessed to the FBI that he was also involved with the murders. Todashev was shot and killed by the FBI agent who was questioning him after he charged the agent with a five-foot pole.