BOSTON — The first case related to the Boston Marathon bombings will soon go to a jury.
Prosecutors in the obstruction and conspiracy trial of Azamat Tazhayakov, a friend of alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, rested their case Monday after a week of testimony. The defense also rested its case, declining to call any witnesses.
“We didn’t feel like we wanted to start switching the burden of proof,” defense attorney Matthew Myers said. “We know when we start putting witnesses on, the jury starts focusing on our case. They should be focusing on the prosecutor’s case, not ours.”
Tazhayakov and another friend, Dias Kadyrbayev, are charged with interfering with the FBI’s investigation into the bombing by removing Tsarnaev’s backpack containing altered fireworks and a laptop from his dorm room hours after the FBI released video and photos of Tsarnaev as a suspect.
Prosecutors called about a dozen witnesses, but none saw Tazhayakov take anything but a pair of headphones from Tsarnaev’s dorm room.
The defense, which tried to show that FBI agents gave conflicting testimony and didn’t correctly recall details of their interviews with Tazhaykov, maintains that Kadyrbayev removed the backpack and later threw the items away.
Prosecutors say both men shared in the decision to take the items and get rid of them to protect Tsarnaev.
A federal judge told the jury to return Wednesday for closing arguments and to begin deliberations.
With reporting by The Associated Press and WBUR’s Bruce Gellerman.