05-21-2018  7:46 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Family Friendly Talent Show, May 18

Family Fun Night series continues at Matt Dishman Community Center ...

Settlement reached in LGBT school harassment

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An openly gay couple was walking in their Oregon high school parking lot when the principal's son drove up, veered away at the last second and shouted an anti-gay slur at the two girls. In class, a teacher equated same-sex marriage with bestiality.The girls complained to...

The Latest: Settlement reached in LGBT school harassment

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Latest on the case of LGBTQ discrimination at an Oregon high school.6:30 p.m.:The principal of an Oregon high school will resign and its school district will commit to improving the climate for LGBTQ students as part of a settlement reached between the American Civil...

Paul Allen donates jumiM to Washington gun initiative

SEATTLE (AP) — Microsoft co-founder and Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen has donated jumi million to a campaign seeking to raise the age to purchase semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21 in Washington state.Allen made the announcement on Twitter Monday.The Alliance for Gun Responsibility says...

Man accused of trying to kill woman with opioid spray

MUKILTEO, Wash. (AP) — An Everett man is accused of holding down his ex-girlfriend at a Mukilteo hotel, shoving Xanax down her throat and forcing a fentanyl spray up her nose in what police say was attempted murder.The Daily Herald reports the woman survived and was able to escape and alert...

OPINION

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?

Bill Fletcher weighs in on the precarious future of the two-state solution between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people ...

The Future of Medicinal Marijuana in Pets

Dr. Jasmine Streeter says CBD-derived products show beneficial therapeutic benefits for pets ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Settlement reached in LGBT school harassment

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An openly gay couple was walking in their Oregon high school parking lot when the principal's son drove up, veered away at the last second and shouted an anti-gay slur at the two girls. In class, a teacher equated same-sex marriage with bestiality.The girls complained to...

Correction: 2018 Midterms-Endorsements story

ATLANTA (AP) — In a story May 20 about potential Democratic presidential candidates and their campaign activity in 2018, The Associated Press reported erroneously that former Vice President Joe Biden was planning to campaign in North Carolina on behalf of a congressional candidate Dan...

Border agent questions 2 women for speaking Spanish

HAVRE, Mont. (AP) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials are reviewing an encounter between a Border Patrol agent and two women who were speaking Spanish at a gas station in northern Montana, the agency said Monday.Allegations have been made before of law-enforcement officers in...

ENTERTAINMENT

Netflix says it has signed Barack and Michelle Obama

NEW YORK (AP) — Barack and Michelle Obama are getting into the television business with Monday's announcement that they had signed a multi-year deal with Netflix.The former president and first lady have formed their own production company, Higher Ground Productions, for the material. In...

Artist Robert Indiana, known for 'LOVE' series, dies at 89

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Pop artist Robert Indiana, best known for his 1960s "LOVE" series, has died at his island home off the coast of Maine. He was 89.Indiana died on Saturday from respiratory failure at his Victorian home in a converted Odd Fellows hall, a fraternal order lodge, where he...

Miss Nebraska wins Miss USA competition

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — Miss Nebraska has been named Miss USA.Sarah Rose Summers beat out 50 other women from all the states and the District of Columbia.At the start of the two-hour broadcast, the field was immediately narrowed down to 15 contestants according to how they performed during...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

What is lava haze? A look at Hawaii's latest volcanic hazard

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Syrian government declares capital fully under its control

BEIRUT (AP) — Syria's military on Monday captured an enclave in southern Damascus from Islamic State...

Divided Supreme Court sides with businesses over workers

WASHINGTON (AP) — A divided Supreme Court ruled Monday that businesses can prohibit their workers from...

Congo Ebola vaccination campaign begins with health workers

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Congo began an Ebola vaccination campaign Monday in a northwest provincial capital...

Social media under microscope in emotive Irish abortion vote

DUBLIN (AP) — In homes and pubs, on leaflets and lampposts, debate is raging in Ireland over whether to...

Aide: Palestinian leader making swift recovery in hospital

JERUSALEM (AP) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is alert and making a swift recovery after being...

Robel Phillipos leaves court
Denise Lavoie, AP Legal Affairs Writer

Robel Phillipos, center, departs federal court with defense attorney Derege Demissie, left, after he was convicted in Boston Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014 on two counts of lying about being in the dorm room of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev three days after the bombing in 2013, while two other friends removed a backpack containing fireworks and other potential evidence. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

BOSTON (AP) — Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's friend was convicted Tuesday of lying to federal agents during the investigation into the deadly 2013 attack.

Robel Phillipos, 21, of Cambridge, was convicted of two counts for lying about being in Tsarnaev's dorm room while two other friends removed a backpack containing fireworks and other potential evidence three days after the bombing while authorities were looking for the suspected bombers. He looked straight ahead impassively as the guilty verdicts were read.

FBI agents testified that Phillipos told them a string of lies about the night of April 18, 2013, before finally acknowledging he had been in Tsarnaev's room at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth with the two men who removed Tsarnaev's backpack and computer.

Phillipos' lawyers said he was a frightened 19-year-old who was intimidated by the FBI and too high on marijuana to clearly remember what he did that night. The defense called several friends who said Phillipos smoked marijuana a half-dozen times that day.

The defense also called former Massachusetts governor and 1988 Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis to testify for Phillipos. Dukakis, an old family friend of Phillipos' mother, described a phone conversation he had with Phillipos five days after the bombings. Dukakis said Phillipos told him he had been questioned by the FBI for five hours but was so confused he didn't remember what he said.

The defense also claimed that Phillipos' alleged confession was coerced by FBI agents.

Phillipos' attorneys said they will ask the judge to vacate the convictions and also appeal the verdict based on their argument that any statements he made to the FBI were not "material" to the bombing investigation.

Phillipos was charged with two counts of lying during a terrorism investigation. The basis for those charges was nine lies he was accused of telling the FBI during two separate interviews. The jury found him not guilty on several of the supposed lies, but concluded he did lie in some instances, leading to the two convictions.

Prosecutors said Phillipos first told the FBI he hadn't been in Tsarnaev's dorm room that day and hadn't seen the backpack containing fireworks, only to later confess to being in the room with two other friends.

The jury, however, found that Phillipos wasn't lying when he told the FBI he didn't see the backpack or fireworks in Tsarnaev's dorm room. Defense attorney Susan Church said that showed the jury "clearly rejected the so-called confession."

Phillipos attended the high school in Cambridge and later college with Tsarnaev.

Phillipos was not accused of participating in the bombings or knowing anything about the planning. Church said Phillipos was "absolutely mortified" when he learned Tsarnaev was a suspect and had feelings of "shock and betrayal" that his high school friend could do such a thing.

During the trial, prosecutors scoffed at Phillipos' marijuana defense, telling the jury that he was able to remember many details about April 18 and lied about his activities that night because he knew he had done something wrong.

After the guilty verdicts were announced, U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said Phillipos "lied to agents when he could have helped" and "concealed when he could have assisted."

The jury deliberated about 35 hours over six days.

The two friends who removed Tsarnaev's backpack were both convicted of conspiracy and obstruction of justice.

Tsarnaev, 21, is awaiting trial in the bombings. He has pleaded not guilty to 30 federal charges and could face the death penalty if convicted.

Phillipos' sentencing is scheduled Jan. 29, and he faces a maximum sentence of 16 years, though first-time offenders like him typically get much less. Phillipos will remain under house arrest on an electronic monitoring bracelet until then.

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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