Did Tamerlan Tsarnaev commit brutal, drug-related triple murder two years before Boston Marathon bombing?

Federal prosecutors officially name deceased Tsarnaev as a suspect in the slayings

Federal prosecutors have named Tamerlan Tsarnaev as a suspect in a brutal drug-related triple murder that took place two years before he was shot dead by police while on the run following the Boston Marathon bombings.

According to a file registered on Monday, Tsarnaev was named as a participant in the killing by Ibragim Todashev – a 27-year-old mixed martial arts fighter who was shot dead by state troopers on May 13 this year after “turning violent” during questioning over the triple homicide.

The brutal murders took place in the city of Waltham, Massachusetts on 11 September 2011, with 25-year-old Brendan Mess – a boxer previously described as Tsarnaev’s “only American friend” – among the victims.

Mess, 31-year-old Erik Weissman and 37-year-old Raphael Tekken were found in an apartment with their throats with such force that all three were almost decapitated. The bodies had reportedly been mutilated and thousands of dollars in cash and marijuana found scattered over their remains.

The formal filing of the report is an attempt by prosecutors to prevent lawyers representing Tsarnaev’s younger brother and fellow Boston bombing suspect Dzokhar accessing investigative documents related to the triple murder.

The report stated: “The government has already disclosed to [Dzokhar] Tsarnaev that, according to Todashev, Tamerlan Tsarnaev participated in the Waltham triple homicide”.

It added: “Any benefit to [Dzokhar] Tsarnaev of knowing more about the precise 'nature and extent' of his brother's involvement does not outweigh the potential harm of exposing details of an ongoing investigation into an extremely serious crime, especially at this stage of the proceeding”.

Prosecutors confirmed that their attempt to prevent access to the information came because they feel the only time Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s previous criminal history would be relevant to Dzokhar Tsarnaev’s case would be at a potential sentencing hearing – not during the trial itself.

20-year-old Dzokhar Tsarnaev – an ethnic Chechen who moved to the US with his family aged eight - is accused of planning and carrying out the Boston Marathon bombings along with his 26-year-old brother on April 15 this year.

He faces 30 federal charges – including using a weapon of mass destruction -and 16 other charges. If found guilty Tsarnaev may face the death penalty.

Three people were killed in the twin explosions, which occurred close to the finishing line on Boston’s Boylston Street just as thousands of competitors were finishing the marathon. 280 people were injured in the blasts.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed several days after the bombings after police tracked the suspects down to the sleepy Boston suburb Watertown and a large gun battle took place. Dzokhar Tsarnaev escaped but was found unarmed and badly wounded several days later, hiding nearby in a boat parked on a trailer.

Sport
The sun rises over St Andrews golf course, but will it be a new dawn for the Royal and Ancient Golf Club?
sportAnd it's Yes to women (at the R&A)
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
Sport
Yaya Touré (left) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat
footballToure's lack of defensive work is big problem for City
Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
Wembley Stadium
footballNews follows deal with Germany
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Volunteer your expertise as Trustee for The Society of Experimental Biology

Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Promising volunteer Trustee op...

Email Designer

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Psychology Teacher

£110 - £130 per hour: Randstad Education Reading: Psychology Teacher needed fo...

Food Technology Teacher

£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Randstad Education are curren...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week