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article imageAnother friend of Boston Marathon bombers sentenced to prison

By Nathan Salant     Jun 19, 2015 in World
Boston - A friend of the Boston Marathon bombers who had dinner with them after the 2013 attack but failed to notify the FBI immediately was sentenced Thursday to 2 1/2 years in prison for misleading investigators.
Khairullozhon Matanov has already been in custody for 13 months and will spend another 17 months in custody under a plea deal with federal prosecutors in Boston, where he was about to go on trial.
Matanov, 24, did supply investigators with the bombers names, addresses and phone numbers, but not until the FBI had identified Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as suspects in the April 15, 2013, attack that killed three and severely injured 260 race spectators.
Matanov also tried to delete files from his computer that might have helped investigators locate the Tsarnaevs earlier, according to the Associated Press.
A fourth man, Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier, was shot and killed by the suspects during their attempted escape from Boston several days after the bombings.
Matanov was a friend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev and an acquaintance of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Tamerlan's brother, who was sentenced to death last month for his role in the marathon bombings.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a shootout with police a few days after the bombings.
U.S. District Court Judge William Young was highly critical of Matanov in comments from the bench but agreed to honor the plea agreement that had been reached with prosecutors.
"All we asked you was to give us a hand," Young told Matanov about his conduct immediately after the bombings, which the judge said diverted resources in the midst of a terrorism investigation.
Matanov was interviewed by the FBI immediately shortly after the bombings but did not reveal that he had spoken with Tamerlan Tsarnaev less than an hour after attack nor that he had additional contacts with him in the days the brothers were on the run.
"All we wanted was for you to help us out, and you didn't do that," the judge said.
But Young did say that prosecutors and investigators did agree that Matanov did not participate in the attack or have any prior knowledge of it.
The judge did say that he thought Matanov, who eventually did apologize for lying, had violated the society's "common sense of decency" by failing to take action when lives were at stake.
"It's been well said that duty is the noblest word in the English language," Young said.
"You failed in that duty," he said.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's formal sentencing before U.S. District Court Judge George O'Toole is scheduled for June 24, the AP said.
Three friends of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev already have been tried and convicted of trying to interfere with the investigation and help him to escape following the bombings.
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