Created: 07/16/2014 2:52 PM WNYT.com
By: DENISE LAVOIE
BOSTON (AP) — A federal jury has begun its deliberations in the trial of a friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehv).
The panel began considering the case of Azamat Tazhayakov (AZ'-maht tuh-ZAY'-uh-kahv) on Wednesday afternoon. Earlier in the day, it heard closing arguments from prosecutors and Tazhayakov's lawyer.
Judge Douglas Woodlock instructed the jury on the two charges against Tazhayakov: conspiracy and obstruction of justice.
Prosecutors say the defendant was an active participant in a plan to protect Tsarnaev by removing altered fireworks and other items from his dorm room at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. Tazhayakov's lawyer described him as a naive college kid who was prosecuted because he was a "friend of the bomber."
Bombs placed near the 2013 marathon finish line killed three people and injured more than 260.
(Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)