Prosecutors have agreed Robel Phillipos, a friend of suspected Boston Marthon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, can be released from jail on $100,000 bail if he agrees to submit to electronic monitoring and stay in his home.
Phillipos, 19, is accused of lying to authorities about visiting Tsarnaev's University of Massachusetts Dartmouth dorm room only hours after the FBI released photos of the bombing suspect. He's expected to appear in a federal court in Boston at 2 p.m. today. Federal prosecutors and Phillipos' defense attorney have asked a judge to postpone a probable cause hearing until May 16.
Two other friends, Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev, who were also in the dorm that evening, are accused of obstruction of justice for allegedly removing some evidence linking Tsarnaev to the April 15 bombings.
Phillipos is accused of repeatedly denying he knew about the removal of a backpack from the room that night. According to an affidavit, he admitted the fourth time he was questioned that he had not been telling the truth.
His lawyers, in court documents, argue that their client was a "frightened and confused 19 year old" who had been subjected to "intense questioning" without benefit of a lawyer.
They say he visited the room by "sheer coincidence and bad luck" and had little information to contribute to the investigation of Tsarnaev.
Phillipos, the son of a single mother who emigrated to the United States from Ethiopia, faces up to eight years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.
Phillipos was charged May 1. Prosecutors argued then that Phillipos was a flight risk and should be detained without bail.
Since his arrest, prosecutors and his defense attorney have "conferred extensively and now agree that the court can fashion strict conditions of release that will reasonably assure" that Phillipos appears in court.
The conditions include home confinement at the residence of a "third-party custodian," 24-hour electronic monitoring and $100,000 bond.
Tsarnaev is charged in connection with deadly bombing April 15 that left three people dead and more than 260 wounded. His 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan, also accused of setting off the devices near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, died during a shootout with police April 18.
Dzhokhar, 19, was badly wounded in the confrontation and was later found hiding in a boat in the backyard of a house in Watertown, Mass. He is being held in a prison medical center.