December 15, 2014

BOSTON (AP) A man charged with possessing the gun authorities believe the Boston Marathon bombing suspects used to kill an MIT police officer is expected to change his plea in court later this week.

Stephen Silva, 21, of Cambridge, pleaded innocent after he was charged in July with heroin trafficking and possession of a handgun with an obliterated serial number.

An electronic notice filed Monday said a change-of-plea hearing is scheduled for Silva Friday in U.S. District Court.

Silva's lawyer did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Silva was a friend of marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who faces trial in January. Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to numerous charges, some of which carry the death penalty. Three people were killed and 260 were injured in the April 2013 bombing.

Silva's indictment says he received a Ruger pistol with the serial number removed in February 2013.

Silva's lawyer confirmed earlier that the handgun is the same gun authorities believe Tsarnaev and his older brother Tamerlan used to kill MIT police officer Sean Collier several days after the marathon bombings while authorities were looking for the Tsarnaevs.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev died following a firefight with police hours after Collier was killed. Police recovered the gun at the scene.

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