Bombing Suspect’s Friend Released To House Arrest Ahead Of Trial

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This courtroom sketch shows Robel Phillipos at the Moakley Federal Courthouse in Boston in May. (Jane Flavell Collins/AP)
This courtroom sketch shows Robel Phillipos at the Moakley Federal Courthouse in Boston in May. (Jane Flavell Collins/AP)

 Updated May 6, 2013, 5:30 pm

Audio report above by WBUR’s Bruce Gellerman; text report below by The Associated Press’ Denise Lavoie.

BOSTON — A friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been released from federal custody while he awaits trial for allegedly lying to federal investigators probing the April 15 bombings.

This courtroom sketch shows defendant Robel Phillipos appearing at the Moakley Federal Courthouse in Boston May 1. (Jane Flavell Collins/AP)

This courtroom sketch shows defendant Robel Phillipos appearing at the Moakley Federal Courthouse in Boston May 1. (Jane Flavell Collins/AP)

Robel Phillipos was charged last week and faces up to eight years in prison if convicted. The 19-year-old was a student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth with Tsarnaev.

Prosecutors initially asked that Phillipos be held while he awaits trial, arguing that he poses a serious flight risk.

But prosecutors and Phillipos’ lawyers said Monday in a joint motion they now agree that Phillipos can 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 Monday afternoon.