BOSTON, May 30 (UPI) -- A fourth friend of the Tsarnaev brothers was charged Friday with helping them after the Boston Marathon bombings.
Khairullozhon Matanov, 23, a native of Kyrgyzstan now living in Quincy, Mass., and working as a cab driver, was named in a four-count federal indictment. The charges include destroying, altering and falsifying documents, records and a cell phone, and three counts of lying to police and the FBI.
In their indictment, federal prosecutors said that Matanov took Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev out to dinner on April 15, 2013, hours after three people were killed and scores injured by bombs placed at the Marathon finish line. He is also alleged to have told another friend, who said he hoped the bombings were not the work of Muslims, that they might be justified if done for the right reasons.
Once Matanov realized the Tsarnaevs were suspects, he allegedly lied about his relationship with them and gave a friend cell phones, saying he was afraid the FBI would search his apartment.
Federal investigators say there is no evidence Matanov knew what the Tsarnaevs were planning. But former Boston Marathon Police Commissioner Ed Davis told WBZ-TV that Matanov and the others charged in the case could have saved the life of Massachusetts Institute of Technology Police Officer Sean Collier, who was shot a few days after the bombing.
Three other young men charged in the case were college friends of Dzhokhar Tamerlan at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Matanov, however, was primarily Tamerlan's friend, investigators said, and shared an interest in Islam with him.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a confrontation with police days after the bombing. His younger brother, now 20, is awaiting trial and could face the death penalty if convicted.