The man accused of lending a gun to the Boston Marathon bombers was sentenced to time served on Tuesday after pleading guilty to drug and firearms charges.
Reuters reported that U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf sentenced Stephen Silva, who was arrested in July 2014, to time served plus three years’ supervised release for the charges he pleaded guilty to last year.
Stephen Silva pleaded guilty to drug charges and to having possessed a handgun with an obliterated serial number. He testified in March that he lent that gun, a Ruger P95, to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who told him he wanted it to rob college students in Rhode Island. He also said Tsarnaev “kept coming up with excuses” for why he didn’t return it.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev escaped and was later found hiding in a boat in Watertown, Massachusetts. He was sentenced to death and is currently jailed at Supermax, the country’s most strict and secure prison, located in Florence, Colorado. His lawyers are trying to persuade a judge to grant him a new trial.
Silva, who had been a high school friend of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Silva and Tsarnaev at Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, pleaded guilty under the terms of the deal federal prosecutors filed in U.S. District Court in Boston.
“In terms of risks undertaken, Silva cooperated in, and testified at, one of the most important terrorism cases in Massachusetts history, which was widely covered by the national and international press,” federal prosecutors wrote. “Silva’s name will forever be tied to that case.”
However, the prosecutors wrote, “Because he testified that he gave the gun to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev that was used to kill MIT Police Officer Sean Collier (albeit not knowing that it would be used for that purpose), he may be simultaneously labeled a cooperator (with all that entails) and potentially (though wrongly) a terrorist sympathizer, or worse.”
Before he was being sentenced Silva said,
“I would like to apologize for the crimes I committed. For he record, I had no idea that the firearm I lent to Mr. Tsarnaev would be used in the way it was, I was young, dumb and thought I could outsmart everyone.”
Prosecutors called for an 18-month sentence, citing the fact that Tsarnaev was actively seeking a gun from Silva, and the assistance he provided him. Silva pleaded that he was not aware of the manner in which the gun would be used before lending it. They wrote,
‘The marathon bombing trial team has advised that Silva was an important and credible witness at trial. In particular, his testimony cut against the defense argument that Dzhokhar’s older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was the driving force behind the entire operation and that Dzhokhar was essentially under his sway,’Judge Wolfe said,
Judge Wolfe sentenced Stephen Silva to time served taking into conideration all the facts presented during the cae,
“You were at a crossroads and you certainly went in the wrong way. You didn’t just go in the wrong way, you got a gun, gave it to your friend and as a result of that, now a police officer is dead.”
Silva’s twin brother, Steven, erupted in applause when the sentence was read out and was escorted from the courtroom.