Federal prosecutors in Boston say they have evidence implicating Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev in a triple homicide dating back to 2011, two years before he died during a shootout with Boston police earlier this year. The feds are attributing the information to one Ibragim Todashev, a friend of Tsarnaev who you will remember was shot and killed in May while being questioned by the FBI about his ties to the deceased Tsarnaev brother. Here's the Boston Globe with more:
Todashev’s statement that Tsarnaev was involved in the murders was previously reported. But the court filing was the first official confirmation. “According to Todashev, Tamerlan Tsarnaev participated in the Waltham homicides,” prosecutors said in the filing, though they did not elaborate.
The federal prosecutors’ statement came in response to a motion filed by defense attorneys for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev that sought to compel the release of prosecution evidence. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Tamerlan’s younger brother, faces federal charges and sought the evidence to prepare his defense, but prosecutors opposed the motion, which included, among other things, a request for more information about the Waltham case.
Dzhokhar's lawyers believe that Tamerlan's potential involvement in the 2011 case could be, according to Reuters, a "mitigating factor" in his defense. But prosecutors say they are reluctant to release further information, claiming they don't want to jeopardize the investigation into the ongoing muder case. The younger Dzhokhar brother has pleaded not guilty to 30 federal charges related to the bombing. He is currently in custody awaiting trial. Federal prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
As for Todashev, still no answers to the multiple questions that remain about the circumstances surrounding his death at the hands of an FBI agent.