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Court: Friend of Boston Marathon bomber offered testimony on 'jihad' murders

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, left, and his brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15, 2013. Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are pinning their best hopes for saving his life on his dead older brother, Tamerlan. The defense is expected to portray Tamerlan Tsarnaev as the mastermind behind the twin explosions that killed 3 people and wounded more than 260 near the finish line of the 2013 race. He died days later after a gun battle with police.

LOWELL SUN AND FBI, FILE/AP

By LAUREL J. SWEET | Boston Herald | Published: November 24, 2018

BOSTON (Tribune News Service) — A college classmate of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev offered to testify against him to federal prosecutors about his brother Tamerlan's involvement in a triple murder in Waltham, according to stunning court documents just unsealed.

Dias Kadyrbayev, 24, may have hoped to testify against his pal as leverage.

Six days before Kadyrbayev pleaded guilty in 2014 to charges he obstructed the investigation of the 2013 Patriots Day terrorist attack, prosecutors informed Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's defense team that Kadyrbayev had divulged through his attorney he'd "learned in the fall of 2012 from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was involved in the Waltham murders," and that Tamerlan "had committed jihad" in Waltham, the documents state.

On Sept. 11, 2011, Raphael Teken, 37, Erik Weissman, 31, and Tamerlan's friend Brendan Mess, 25, "were bound, their throats were cut, and at least one of them had marijuana sprinkled over his body," federal prosecutors stated in a follow-up motion that persuaded U.S. District Court Judge George A. O'Toole Jr. to bar any mention of the triple homicide at Dzhokhar's 2015 terrorism trial.

Dzhokhar's lawyers argued they wanted jurors to hear about "the brutality of those murders" to show Tamerlan -- killed in a firefight with Watertown police that ended with Dzhokhar running him over with a carjacked SUV -- was the dominant force in plotting the bombings that killed three race spectators and led to the murder of MIT police officer Sean Collier.

Approximately one month after Dzhokhar's arrest and Tamerlan's death, a friend of Tamerlan's, Ibragim Todashev, was fatally shot by FBI Special Agent Aaron McFarlane in Florida after confessing he, too, was involved in the Waltham slaughter.

Todashev was killed in his home when he charged McFarlane and Massachusetts State Police Sgt. Curtis Cinelli with a 5-foot pole.

The Waltham killings remain officially unsolved by the Middlesex District Attorney's Office.

Kadyrbayev was released from prison in August after serving 6 years for removing a backpack, laptop, fireworks and other incriminating items from Dzhokhar's dorm room at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. All but the laptop were later recovered from a New Bedford landfill.

He has since been deported to Kazakhstan.

Dzhokhar's new legal team is scrambling to meet a Dec. 19 deadline for filing his first appeal to overturn his death sentence.

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