Nightly News   |  May 06, 2013

Friend of Boston bombing suspect released from prison

Robel Phillipos, who was arrested last week and accused of lying to the FBI about he and his friends did after the Boston bombing, was released from jail Monday until needed for future court hearings. NBC’s Pete Williams reports.

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>>> the marathon bombings in boston. one of the three friends of the surviving suspect arrested last week was released from jail today though remains under surveillance. and the body of the other suspect is still being held at a massachusetts funeral home because his family is having trouble finding a place to bury him. we get the latest tonight from our justice correspondent pete williams .

>> hi. my name is --

>> reporter: he's been in federal custody since he was arrested five days ago and charged with lying to the fbi about what happened at dzhokhar tsarnaev's college dorm room three days after the bombing. federal agents he was with two other friends who found a backpack containing empty fireworks tubes and threw it in the trash. lawyers for philipo said he wants to clear his name and will show up for hearings. the judge ordered him to wear an electronic monitor. family members posted real estate as bond. his lawyers say he wants to cooperate.

>> at no time did robel have a prior knowledge of this bombing. nor did he participate in any of the planning done by the defendant in this case.

>> reporter: authorities say philipo and tsarnaev were friends since high school . he took the current college semester off. in a court filing they say he was on campus by sheer coincidence and bad luck when he was arrested they say he was a frightened and confused 19-year-old who had a hard time answering rationally under intense questioning. another issue, where to bury the body of tamerlan tsarnaev. it was released to a massachusetts funeral home but no cemetery agreed to accept it.

>> i understand everybody's feelings on it. somewhere along the line we have to set the feelings aside, take a step forward and say we have to do something.

>> reporter: the city manager of cambridge says burial would be stressful for the community. the state governor said it is not a decision for the government.

>> first of all, this isn't a state or federal issue. this is a family issue. the family has some options. i assume they will make a decision soon.

>> reporter: the funeral director says one solution might be sending the body to tsarnaev's parents in russia. so far, no arrangements have been made for that either. brian?

>> pete williams in d.c. for