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A friend of the man suspected in last year's Boston Marathon bombings was convicted Monday of helping to cover up the crime that left three people dead and more than 250 injured.

A federal jury found Azamat Tazhayakov, 20, guilty of obstruction of justice and conspiracy by hindering the investigation into bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a friend and fellow student at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth.

Prosecutors said that after Tazhayakov and another friend, Dias Kadyrbayev, determined that Tsarnaev was a suspect in the bombings, they threw out a backpack and removed a laptop from Tsarnaev's dorm room.

Lawyers for Tazhayakov argued that Kadyrbayev had removed the items; prosecutors said Tazhayakov went along with the plan.

"They took materials from that room that they never should have touched, and that's what he is going to pay the price for," juror Daniel Antonin, 49, said after the verdict was announced.

Tazhayakov was convicted of involvement with the backpack but not the laptop.

Sentencing was set for Oct. 16. Tazhayakov, who could face more than 20 years in prison, was the first of three friends of Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev to face trial stemming from the attack April 15, 2013. Kadyrbayev faces trial in September.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who will turn 21 Tuesday, is charged with bombing a public place and using a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death. Two pressure cookers exploded near the finish line of the race. The attack took place on Patriot's Day, a major holiday in Boston highlighted by the running of the nation's most iconic marathon.

Prosecutors say Tsarnaev's brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan, was involved in the planning and explosions.

On April 18, Kadyrbayev texted Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, telling him that a photo released by police showed a suspect that looked like Dzhokhar.

"LOL," Tsarnaev replied, according to a federal affidavit. "You better not text me ... come to my room and take whatever you want."

According to prosecutors, Kadyrbayev showed the text message to his friend Tazhayakov. Hours later, the two men went to Tsarnaev's dorm room. Prosecutors say Kadyrbayev removed Tsarnaev's backpack, which contained fireworks, and his laptop — and Tazhayakov supported the effort to protect Dzhokhar.

That night, prosecutors say, the Tsarnaev brothers killed Sean Collier, a police officer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In the early hours of April 19, Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a shootout with police.

Dzhokhar was found, wounded and hiding in a boat, that day. He is being held without bail and could face the death penalty if convicted.

Contributing: Associated Press

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