Bomb suspect's friend released pending trial

Posted: 05/06/13 at 11:00 am EDT      Last Updated: 05/06/13 at 10:29 pm EDT

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.

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.

Phillipos’ family posted bail Monday, putting up property as collateral. The family used a double to dupe camera crews as they left federal court.

“I’m certainly happy for his mother and his family. Now he has the comfort and the guidance that he needs,” said Michelle Gorden, a friend of the Phillipos family.

His lawyers said that Phillipos had nothing to do with the bombing at the Boston Marathon.

Phillipos is due back in court later in May.

The Associated Press Contributed to this report.

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