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Boston bomb suspect's friend released pending trial; burial for 2nd brother remains unresolved

| Monday, May 6, 2013, 7:03 p.m.
Reuters
Robel Phillipos, a friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, has been charged with making false statements to investigators in connection with the April 15 attacks.

BOSTON — A friend of the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings was released from federal custody on Monday amid a swell of support from family and friends as a Massachusetts funeral director tried to find a place willing to bury a second suspect who was killed during a gun battle with police.

Robel Phillipos, a friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was released on $100,000 bond while he awaits trial for allegedly lying to federal investigators probing the April 15 bombings.

Phillipos, 19, who had been a student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth with Tsarnaev, was charged last week with lying to investigators about visiting Tsarnaev's dorm room three days after the bombings. He could get eight years in prison.

Prosecutors and Phillipos' lawyers agreed in a joint motion filed that Phillipos could be released under strict conditions, including home confinement, monitoring with an electronic bracelet and a $100,000 secured bond.

Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler agreed to the request during a hearing .

Meanwhile, a Worcester funeral home director was still trying to find a place to bury Tsarnaev's brother, Tamerlan. Peter Stefan said he has been turned down by several cemeteries in Massachusetts.

If Russia refuses to accept the body, the city of Cambridge might be forced to take it, said Wake Forest University professor Tanya Marsh, an expert in U.S. law on the disposal of human remains. The city's appeal to the family not to ask it to bury the body is likely a way to set up its defense if the family goes to court to try to force the burial, Marsh said.

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