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Martyrs 'Go Straight to Heaven,' Tsarnaev Told Friend: Prosecutors

Azamat Tazhayakov is charged with obstruction in the case against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is charged with killing 3 and injuring more than 260.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev texted his friend that dying as a martyr was an honor, prosecutors alleged as the first Boston Marathon bombing trial began Monday. Tsarnaev texted the defendant, Azamat Tazhayakov, and another friend that "it was good to die" a martyr because you would die "with a smile on your face and go straight to heaven," prosecutors said, according to The Associated Press. Tazhayakov is charged with obstruction in the case against Tsarnaev because he is accused of removing items from the suspected bomber's dorm room, thereby hindering the investigation into the April 15, 2013 attack.

In opening statements during Tazhayakov's trial, prosecutors said the defendant and another friend, Dias Kadyrbayev, went to Tsarnaev's dorm room three days after the bombing and disposed of a backpack, hollowed-out fireworks and a computer, according to The Associated Press. The two friends also removed marijuana, a thumb drive and Vaseline from the room after Tsarnaev asked them to via text, prosecutors said, according to NBC affiliate New England News Channel. The defense said in their opening statements that their client didn’t remove the backpack — Kadyrbayev did. They argued that the two friends initially went to Tsarnaev’s dorm to scope for pot.



— Elisha Fieldstadt