• Prosecutor: Marathon bombing suspect's friend confessed involvement in Mass. triple slaying


    ORLANDO, Fla. - Findings from the State Attorney's Office have cleared an FBI agent and two Massachusetts officers of any wrongdoing in the deadly shooting of Ibragim Todashev, in his Orlando apartment in May 2013.

    The Chechen national was believed to be involved in slayings with suspected Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev and was shot and killed while talking with the agent and the two officers.

    Channel 9's Kathi Belich spent much of Tuesday going through hundreds of pages of documents released in the case that explain why the FBI agent who fatally shot Todashev was cleared.

    According to documents, Todashev had just confessed to helping with a triple slaying before he attacked the two officers and the agent and was shot. 

     Investigators said the confession was captured on video and that Todashev wrote it down.

     Neither the alleged video confession, nor the written confession was in the information released Tuesday.

     The State Attorney's Office told Belich that the video shows Todashev trying to work a deal in exchange for his confession, and talking about losing his freedom.  

    Investigators released pictures from cellphone video the Massachusetts FBI agents took when they questioned Todashev last year in his Orlando apartment about a 2011 triple murder in Boston.

     The State Attorney's investigators said they reviewed all the recordings and told Belich that Todashev confessed to being involved, along with his friend, suspected Boston Marathon bomber, Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

    "The atmosphere was very casual, I won't say friendly, but it was not unfriendly. Mr. Todashev controlled the situation," said Assistant State Attorney Richard Wallsh.

     The State Attorney's Office also read Todashev's written confession, which was blacked out of documents released Tuesday. 

     Local prosecutors said they had to agree to redact evidence the FBI did not want to be released. 

    "Have you tried to push them to release more of this to end some of the questions people have?" Belich asked Wallsh.

     "That's an excellent question. We have. We come from a culture in Florida whether we like it or not, as public officials we have this wide open (Sunshine Law)," said Wallsh.

     Belich asked the FBI why it's still holding back the Todashev's confession almost a year after his death. She was told Massachusetts prosecutors asked for that because the murder investigation there is still ongoing. 

     The FBI is now doing a policy and training review of the shooting and said the names of the Boston FBI agent and the two Massachusetts state policemen involved are being kept secret because they've been threatened. 

    Tuesday afternoon the American Civil Liberties Union said they still question whether the shooting was necessary.

    In a statement they said that while the report cast more light on what happened when Todashev was shot, but they said many questions remain unresolved.

    “Much of the secrecy of what happened leading up to those seven shots seems to have been lifted, and for that, the report is a welcome change from the suspicion-fostering silence and stonewalling that has taken place until now. But even in the light of this report, the central question of whether officers were justified in killing Mr. Todashev – why a man wielding a broomstick needed seven bullets put into him – remains frustrating and disappointingly unanswered,” said Howard Simon, executive director of the ACLU of Florida, in the statement.


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