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Boston Marathon bombing: Tsarnaev friend to change plea

A college friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev plans to plead guilty to impeding the investigation into the deadly attack.

Dias Kadyrbayev, 20, charged with obstruction of justice and conspiracy

Dias Kadyrbayev, a friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was charged with obstruction of justice and conspiracy for allegedly removing a backpack containing fireworks from Tsarnaev's dorm room. (Jane Flavell Collins/The Associated Press)

A college friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev plans to plead guilty to impeding the investigation into the deadly attack.

Dias Kadyrbayev, 20, is accused of removing a backpack containing emptied-out fireworks from Tsarnaev's dorm room after realizing he was suspected of carrying out the 2013 attack with his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

Prosecutors said Kadyrbayev and another friend, AzamatTazhayakov, decided to take the items from Tsarnaev's room at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth several days after two bombs exploded near the finish line of the marathon, killing three people and injuring more than 260. The items, along with Tsarnaev's laptop computer, were removed hours after the FBI publicly released photographs of Tsarnaev and his brother as suspects in the bombing.

Kadyrbayev was scheduled to go on trial next month on obstruction of justice and conspiracy charges.

An electronic notice filed Wednesday said Kadyrbayev is expected to be in court Thursday for a change-of-plea hearing. His lawyer, Robert Stahl, confirmed that he intends to plead guilty, but wouldn't say whether he would admit to one or both charges. Stahl also declined to say whether he and prosecutors have agreed on a joint sentencing recommendation.

Tazhayakov was convicted last month of agreeing with the plan to remove the items. 

Maximum 25 years in prison

The charges against both Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov carry a maximum of 25 years in prison.

A spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

During Tazhayakov's trial, witnesses said Kadyrbayev took the backpack and threw it in the trash. 

Prosecutors said the items were removed from Tsarnaev's room hours after Kadyrbayev received a text message from Tsarnaev saying he could go to his dorm room and "take what's there."

The backpack and fireworks were recovered later in a New Bedford landfill. Prosecutors said the fireworks had been emptied of explosive powder that can be used to make bombs.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a shootout with police several days after the bombings. DzhokharTsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to 30 federal charges and faces the possibility of the death penalty if convicted. His trial is scheduled to begin in November.

A third college friend, RobelPhillipos, of Cambridge, is charged with lying to federal investigators. He is scheduled to go on trial next month.