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Text messages show marathon bombing suspect joking

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DENISE LAVOIE | May 15, 2014 08:12 PM EST | AP

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BOSTON (AP) — Text messages show Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev joking with a friend not to text him hours after the FBI released Tsarnaev's photo as a suspect in the deadly attack.

Dias Kadyrbayev texted Tsarnaev shortly after the FBI publicly released photos of Tsarnaev and his brother as suspects in the deadly 2013 attack.

Tsarnaev responded that he had seen the news, then texted, "Better not text me my friend," then "Lol."

In another text, Tsarnaev told Kadyrbayev he could go to his room and "take what's there" followed by a smiley face.

Some of the messages had been released previously, but a complete transcript of Kadyrbayev's text messages in the days after the bombing was released by prosecutors Thursday.

Kadyrbayev and another friend, Azamat Tazhayakov, are accused of removing a backpack containing fireworks and a laptop from Tsarnaev's dorm room at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth several days after the bombings. A third friend, Robel Phillipos, is accused of lying to investigators.

None of the men are accused of participating in the bombing or knowing about it ahead of time.

Tazhayakov and Phillipos declined to testify this week during a hearing over statements they made under questioning by federal agents. U.S. District Court Judge Douglas Woodlock said Thursday he would not throw out their statements.

Kadyrbayev had been expected to testify Friday, but Woodlock said that will be postponed until after testimony from an expert witness.

The judge did not rule on Kadyrbayev's request to suppress statements he made to investigators; his suppression hearing is expected to resume in two weeks.

Prosecutors and the men's attorneys are arguing over whether the statements were voluntary and can be used as evidence in the upcoming trials. Prosecutors have said the men willingly spoke to federal agents after being told of their right to remain silent and to contact a lawyer. Kadyrbayev's lawyer, Robert Stahl, has argued that his client, who is from Kazakhstan, did not have a complete command of the English language and did not fully understand the waiver forms he signed.

Also on Thursday, prosecutors disclosed that a lawyer claiming to represent the friends called the state police barracks while they were being questioned, but the men were never told about the call.

In the court filing, prosecutors said a state trooper took a call from a man who identified himself as an attorney and said he didn't want the men answering any questions. The trooper said he told a federal agent about the call, a conversation Kadyrbayev's lawyer argues should have trigged "numerous legal consequences" that mean the statements should be suppressed.

The filing included an email exchange from Wednesday between the trooper and one of the agents who questioned Kadyrbayev. According to the trooper, the lawyer said he was contacted by the state's public defender agency and told to call the barracks.

The trooper said he "had no idea whether the caller was an actual attorney or some crackpot who was calling due to the media coverage."

The trooper said he told the attorney that one of the agents had just told him that Kadyrbayev, who was being questioned at the time, had been "cooperative and had agreed to speak with them of his own free will."

In their filing, prosecutors say agents involved in the questioning recalled being told of the conversation "after the defendants had made all the admissions they made that night regarding entering Tsarnaev's dorm room and removing items."

Two bombs placed near the finish line of the April 2013 marathon killed three people and injured more than 260. Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to 30 federal charges and is awaiting trial in November. His brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, also a suspect in the bombings, died following a shootout with police several days later.