The Herald Bulletin

Midday Update

Nation & World

May 7, 2013

Massachusetts funeral director considers burial offers

(Continued)

BOSTON —

"The government stands by its allegations," Capin said.

Defense attorney Susan Church described Phillipos as a well-liked, honor roll student with many friends and supporters. At least 50 relatives, friends and other supporters attended the court hearing.

Church emphasized that Phillipos is not accused of helping Tsarnaev and his brother plan or carry out the bombings.

"At no time did Robel have any prior knowledge of this marathon bombing," she said.

Two other friends were charged with conspiring to obstruct justice by taking a backpack with fireworks and a laptop from Tsarnaev's dorm room. All four had studied at UMass Dartmouth.

In letters filed in court, friends and family members urged the court to release Phillipos on bail, describing him as peaceful and non-violent.

"I was shocked and stunned when I heard the news of his arrest. I could not control my tears," wrote Zewditu Alemu, his aunt. "I do not believe that my beloved Robel crosses the line intentionally to support or assist such a horrendous act against us the people of the USA. By nature he does not like violence. He loves peaceful environment."

Later Monday, the administrator of a compensation fund outlined a draft protocol for payments from The One Fund Boston, which was created to help people injured in the twin blasts.

Kenneth Feinberg spoke Monday evening at a Town Hall meeting at the Boston Public Library, near the blast site, and said the families of those who lost loved ones and individuals who suffered double amputations or permanent brain damage would receive the highest category of payment.

Those who received physical injuries and suffered the amputation of a limb will be the next highest priority. The fund has raised $28 million to date.

The Tsarnaev brothers are accused of carrying out the bombings using pressure cookers packed with explosives, nails, ball bearings and metal shards. The attack killed three people and injured more than 260 others near the marathon's finish line.

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