The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

World, nation, state

May 6, 2013

Boston bomb suspect’s pal released pending trial

BOSTON —  A friend of the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings was released from federal custody Monday amid a swell of support from family and friends as a Massachusetts funeral director tried to find a place willing to bury a second suspect who was killed after a gun battle with police.

Robel Phillipos, a friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was released on $100,000 bond while he awaits trial for allegedly lying to federal investigators probing the April 15 bombings.

Meanwhile, a Worcester funeral home director said he was still trying to find a cemetery to bury Tsarnaev’s brother, Tamerlan, who died four days after the bombings. Peter Stefan said he has been turned down by several cemeteries in Massachusetts. He planned to ask the city of Cambridge, where the Tsarnaev brothers lived for the past decade, to allow Tamerlan to be buried in a city-owned cemetery.

But Cambridge City Manager Robert Healy urged the Tsarnaev family not to make the request.

“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 in a statement Sunday.

On Monday, Stefan said he is looking outside of Massachusetts and does not believe Russia will take the body.

If Russia refuses to accept the body, Cambridge may be forced to take it, said Wake Forest University professor Tanya Marsh, an expert in U.S. law on the disposal of human remains.

Massachusetts law requires every community to provide a suitable place to bury its residents, she said. Cambridge’s appeal to the family not to ask it to bury the body is likely a way to set up its defense if the family goes to court to try to force the burial, Marsh said.

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