Joint court motion seeks release of man accused of lying to authorities after Boston bombings

WORCESTER, Mass. — Prosecutors and defense lawyers filed a joint court motion Monday asking a judge to release one of the friends of Boston Marathon suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev from federal custody while awaiting trial.

Robel Phillipos, 19, was charged last week with lying to investigators looking into the April 15 bombings. The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth student faces a maximum of eight years in prison if convicted.

Authorities say he lied to investigators about visiting Tsarnaev’s dorm room three days after the bombings.

Both sides said in the court motion that they agree to allow Phillipos to be released under strict conditions, including home confinement and monitoring with an electronic bracelet, along with a $100,000 bond.

A magistrate judge is expected to consider the request during a hearing Monday afternoon.

Defense attorneys for Phillipos said in court documents their client had nothing to do with the deadly bombings and isn’t a flight risk.

Bomb suspect’s uncle, in Mass., says he knows ‘no one wants to associate … with such evil’

WORCESTER, Mass. — The uncle of a Boston Marathon bombing suspect killed in a gun battle with police arrived at a funeral home Sunday to make arrangements for his burial.

Ruslan Tsarni of Montgomery Village, Md., and three other men met with Worcester funeral home director Peter Stefan. The men who accompanied Tsarni plan to wash and perform Muslim burial rites on the body of 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Stefan said.

Stefan said he has received calls from people criticizing him and calling him “un-American” for his willingness to handle Tsarnaev’s funeral.

“We take an oath to do this. Can I pick and choose? No. Can I separate the sins from the sinners? No,” he said. “We are burying a dead body. That’s what we do.”

Stefan said Tsarnaev’s uncle told him that he is anxious to bury his nephew.

“They just want to get it over with. They want to get him buried,” Stefan said.

Tsarni has denounced the acts that his nephews — Tamerlan and younger brother Dzhokhar — are accused of committing and has said that they have brought shame to the family and the entire Chechen ethnicity. The brothers are ethnic Chechens from Russia who came to the United States about a decade ago with their parents. The parents returned to Russia’s restive republic of Dagestan last year.

Massachusetts man charged with plotting to fly explosives into Pentagon ordered held on bail

WORCESTER, Mass. — A federal judge has denied bail for a Massachusetts man accused of plotting to fly remote-controlled model planes packed with explosives into the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol.

The judge said in the decision issued Monday that 26-year-old Rezwan Ferdaus is a “danger to the community” with a “dedication to his cause.”

Ferdaus, a Muslim American with a physics degree from Northeastern University, was arrested in Framingham in September after federal employees posing as al-Qaida members delivered what he believed was 24 pounds of C-4 explosives.

Lawyers for the Ashland man said Ferdaus has mental health issues and had a “completely unrealistic fantasy.”