The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

World, nation, state

May 6, 2013

Finding burial plot for bomb suspect a struggle

WORCESTER, Mass. —  A funeral director trying to find a cemetery to take the body of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev is going next to the city where Tsarnaev lived, but will run into another obstacle: It doesn't want him.

Worcester funeral director Peter Stefan said he plans to ask the city of Cambridge to provide a plot because he hasn't been able to find a cemetery in Massachusetts willing to accept Tsarnaev's remains. He said if Cambridge turns him down, he will seek help from state officials.

Cambridge City Manager Robert Healy said in a statement Sunday that he is urging the funeral director and Tsarnaev's family not to request a burial permit for the city-owned cemetery.

"The difficult and stressful efforts of the citizens of the City of Cambridge to return to a peaceful life would be adversely impacted by the turmoil, protests, and wide spread media presence at such an interment," Healy said.

The dilemma over where to bury the 26-year-old suspect comes as a friend of his brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev heads to court Monday for a bail hearing on charges that he lied to federal investigators after the bombings.

Defense attorneys said in court documents filed Saturday that they will ask a federal judge to release Robel Phillipos of Cambridge from jail. They said he had nothing to do with the deadly bombings and isn't a flight risk.

Phillipos, 19, was charged last week with lying to investigators about visiting Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's college dorm room on April 18, three days after the bombings. Two other friends were charged with conspiring to obstruct justice by taking a backpack with fireworks and a laptop from Tsarnaev's dorm room. All four had studied at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

Phillipos faces a maximum of eight years behind bars and a $250,000 fine if convicted.

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