Matanov and his impact on Jahar’s case

Yesterday a fifth person was taken into custody in connection with the Boston Marathon bombings. From The Boston Globe:

A cab driver from Quincy who was close to the two suspected Boston Marathon bombers was arrested Friday on charges of lying to investigators and destroying evidence, allegedly obstructing the ongoing investigation of the 2013 attack that shocked the city and the nation.

Khairullozhon Matanov, a 23-year-old Kyrgyzstan national, allegedly contacted Tamerlan Tsarnaev 42 minutes after the April 15, 2013, bombings, and he bought him and his younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, dinner at a restaurant that night. Matanov visited Tamerlan, whom he knew from playing soccer and from places of worship, at the suspected bomber’s Cambridge home two days later.

Over several days after the bombings, he also called the brothers repeatedly.

Authorities alleged in a sweeping indictment unsealed Friday that Matanov realized the FBI would want to interview him about his relationship with the suspected bombers, but that he deleted files from his computer and tried to get rid of his cellphones. They also allege that he lied to investigators about his encounters with the brothers in the days after the bombings.

The troubling thing about Matanov’s arrest is its possible implications on Jahar’s case. From the Boston Herald:

A Quincy cabbie’s dinner conversation with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev could show whether the accused Boston Marathon bomber felt any remorse for the terror attack earlier that day. And if Khairullozhon Matanov said Tsarnaev didn’t, federal prosecutors could use that testimony to secure a death sentence for the accused terrorist.

Tsarnaev has loaded up his defense team with two high-powered experts to help him try to avoid the ultimate penalty. But yesterday’s arrest of Matanov, a friend to Dzhokhar and his brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, could give the U.S. Attorney’s Office a witness to the accused bomber’s state of mind. That’s if he gets a plea deal. And since Matanov is facing up to 44 years in prison on obstruction and other charges, that’s a real option.

“I would say there are two potential reasons that they waited so long to indict him: One could be to gather more information, and the other could be to strengthen the death penalty claim,” said Doug Sheff, president of the Massachusetts Bar Association, who isn’t involved in the case. “I think that may well be the second prong of what they’re doing. If the sentence scares the kid, a plea could be a way to try to get the death penalty.”

Should a federal jury convict Tsarnaev of any of the 17 death penalty-eligible charges, they will go to the sentencing phase and weigh several factors. One of them — listed by the government in its notice to seek death — is Tsarnaev’s perceived “lack of remorse.”

Less than an hour after the horrific double bombing, Matanov allegedly called the Tsarnaev brothers to invite them to dinner. Later, the three buddies sat down to break bread with Matanov picking up the bill, prosecutors say.

Sitting down for dinner after allegedly blowing up dozens of people doesn’t exactly say, “I’m sorry.”

This new news brings up some prayer requests:

  1. A fair trial and justice in Matanov’s case. 44 years sounds like a long time, but maybe it is justified. May what is truly just be what happens.
  2. Matanov’s salvation. He’s described as a devout Muslim. Pray that God would open his eyes to the truth of the Gospel and to his need for a Savior.
  3. God’s hand over the sentencing phase in Jahar’s case. As mentioned above, these new circumstances could easily make the death penalty more likely than before. Pray that God would be working to make Jahar’s sentence ultimately be whatever he needs to come to Christ—even if that is the death penalty.
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33 Responses to Matanov and his impact on Jahar’s case

  1. Ada says:

    All I can say is, prayer prayer prayer.

    • Bri says:

      Yep. Despite the bad news, we must remember that God is in control. Although I do not want the death penalty for Jahar at all and it would break my heart, it’s entirely possible that it’s the only way that Jahar’s eyes would be opened and that he would wake up. Perhaps Jahar being at Terre Haute in contrast to ADX Florence would put him in a better position to be exposed to the Gospel. And as much as I hate to think about this, at least if he were executed, he’d be able to share his testimony a little bit in his last statement, whereas he might never get to share with anyone besides his family if he ends up receiving a life sentence. God knows what he needs, and I trust that he’s going to providentially orchestrate everything for Jahar’s ultimate good.

      • Ada says:

        Because I see Jahar as my brother, it makes my heart race to think of him being given the death penalty. But as you say, whatever it takes. This life is but as a vapor in comparison to being with the Lord. 🙂

      • Bri says:

        I’ve got a brother in Christ on Ohio’s death row who I write to that was supposed to be executed last year, then July 2, and now sometime after August 15. Although I know he’ll be going home to his Savior, it still breaks my heart thinking about losing him. That’s how it would be with Jahar too.

        If (when 🙂 ) he comes to Christ, it’s the whole dilemma Paul faced of “To live is Christ and to die is gain.” It would be far better for Jahar to just go home because he wouldn’t have to suffer anymore, but then his ability to personally impact people would be over with.

        I’m also bothered by him possibly getting the death penalty because I’m very much against the death penalty for various reasons. Don’t let me start on my death penalty rant, haha.

      • Ada says:

        Godly love to you, your friend/our brother, and Jahar ❤

      • Ada says:

        Jahar our future brother

      • Bri says:

        “Jahar our future brother” – That makes me smile. ❤

      • Ada says:

        Yeah, I can picture him on knees or on his bed praying to God. Very comforting thinking of God’s power and grace in this way.

      • Bri says:

        It’s a beautiful thing to envision. They can try to keep everyone away from Jahar, but they can’t keep God out of his cell. If he would only see the truth and start crying out to Jesus, He’d have someone to talk to who would never leave his side.

      • brokenheart4whatbreakshis says:

        “Yeah, I can picture him on knees or on his bed praying to God.” I picture him falling to his knees and crying out to Jesus multiple times a day.

        “They can try to keep everyone away from Jahar, but they can’t keep God out of his cell.” I was thinking about this today when “Take Heart” came onto my iPod….just hearing about all of the things that God has already overcome. There are so many obstacles in the way right now, but God is stronger. He can overcome all of them! (Why do I feel like I’m wasting a good blog entry?)

        Ada – Bri and I have already decided that if Jahar ever does get the death penalty – we won’t let them kill our brother without being there praying for him outside of that prison……so as much as it breaks my heart to think of that……if it ever comes to that, I would love to have another sister there praying with us. ❤

      • Ada says:

        K, I would love to be there to support y’all and Jahar, and to give testimony to others who may be watching. Due to some factors, I cannot completely promise such 😦 . I think it is mainly the year that matters. What is the average time an inmates waits once he/she receives the penalty? If I could not be there in person, you know I’d be thinking of y’all constantly! Hopefully, this information won’t be necessary.
        Also, I’m glad y’all see me as your sister! 😀


      • brokenheart4whatbreakshis says:

        Well I mean it could be fast if they waive appeals and stuff, but the average is something like 15 years….it’s usually a long time – so I think if heaven forbid that ever happens – you’ll be good. Bri’s in the same boat if that makes you feel better.

        And how could we not? 🙂

      • Ada says:

        Y’all are great! ❤

      • Bri says:

        Likewise. I can’t say enough how glad I am that you found us. 🙂

      • Bri says:

        If you can’t be there, that’s completely understandable. No worries.

        In 2012, the average time between sentencing and execution was 190 months, so almost 16 years. I feel like the number must be higher with federal death row, though, as there have only been three executions since 1963, the last of which was in 2003. The amount of time can be quite short, though. Timothy McVeigh, the OKC bomber, dropped his appeals and was executed only six years after the bombing and four years after his sentencing.

        I definitely see you as a sister and also as a friend. 🙂

      • Ada says:

        Ditto with both of y’all ❤
        As I see it (meaning God works miracles), I'd only need 4 years (I don't go into details because it is extremely…detailed). I pray that an opportunity for such a trip will not come up though! I don't want to think of such a thing for Jahar, though it is a real possibility.

      • Bri says:

        That’s probably about the amount of time I’d need to make it work too. Maybe a tiny bit longer.

        I’ve said from the beginning that I don’t think Jahar will get the death penalty, but now with this Matanov stuff, I’m not so sure. Whatever happens, though, I trust God.

      • Ada says:

        Always sister!

      • brokenheart4whatbreakshis says:

        More than 4 years?!? Does that mean you can’t come visit me for more than 4 years either?!?! ::pouts::

      • Bri says:

        Write a blog entry about it anyway! Haha.

        I couldn’t possibly not be there for our brother, if it comes down to that. And I wouldn’t stop praying for him down to the last moment. If I hopped on a plane to Terre Haute knowing he was still Muslim, I’d pray my heart out believing that God can save him as long as his heart is still beating. That prison would be flooded with prayer.

      • brokenheart4whatbreakshis says:

        Okay, I will – maybe this week some time. I have another one on my brain too so we’ll see which comes first.

      • Bri says:

        I’ve got some blog entry ideas, but with Hawaii, they might just not happen and fade away.

      • Ada says:


      • Bri says:

        I’m going there with my family from the 4th-14th, so I probably won’t be on much during that time.

      • Ada says:

        Well, we’ll miss you but have a great time 😀

      • Bri says:

        Thanks. I’ll definitely miss you too. I have 4G on my smartphone and probably WiFi at the hotels, so I’ll probably check in a bit. Just won’t have a ton of time and I have only a limited amount of data to use on my phone.

      • Bri says:

        Wow, WordPress is really all out of order on this convo… I’m replying here to “More than 4 years?!? Does that mean you can’t come visit me for more than 4 years either?!?! ::pouts::”

        Sadly probably yeah. Hooray for a lack of independence.

      • Ada says:


      • brokenheart4whatbreakshis says:

        But you told me threeeeee ::throws a temper tantrum::

  2. Ada says:

    Bri, I sent you an e-mail (two actually, because the first was sent accidentally sent from an e-mail I don’t usually use for conversations). Just wanted to give you a heads up!

  3. Ada says:

    Well that’s kind-of happened to another person before (sort of). Vanya M. was a Christian drafted into the Red Army (back in the ‘60s or ‘70s). He was persecuted and two times he saw angels! One was like an angelic choir in the sky. It was amazing to read, yes it was 🙂

  4. Bri says:

    I’ve been praying a lot in the last week for spiritual deliverance for Jahar, which fits in perfectly with that. As Satan and his forces are kicked out, God and His forces will take over.

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