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Crime & Courts

Barry Cohen representing family of slain Chechen tied to Boston bombing

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Published:   |   Updated: August 13, 2013 at 09:12 PM

TAMPA — Two Tampa Bay attorneys will represent the family of a Chechen immigrant shot to death in Orlando during questioning by the FBI and other agents about his ties to one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.

The announcement was made at a news conference in Tampa today by Abdulbaki Todashev, father of Ibragim Todashev, who was fatally shot in May.

The attorneys, Barry Cohen of Tampa and Eric Loudin of Clearwater, will work with the family to decide on possible civil action once an investigation of the shooting is completed by State Attorney Jeffrey Ashton in Orlando, Loudin said today.

The father, who is visiting the U.S. from Chechnya while the investigation is under way, appeared at the news conference and through an interpreter read a prepared statement defending his son.

“He did not do anything wrong,” Abdulbaki Todashev said. “He was simply not capable of doing it. He was a very good boy and he wanted to live.”

He added, “I’m certain we’’ll be able to receive justice.”

Abdulbaki Todaschev plans will remain in the U.S. as long as he can so he can learn the results of the investigation, Loudin said.

Ashton said last week he has received a preliminary report on the shooting from U.S. Department of Justice about its investigation into Ibragim Todashev’s death.

Ashton says there is no schedule for when he will complete his review.

Todashev was killed while being questioned by FBI agents and police from Massachusetts and Florida. Officials originally said Todashev lunged at an FBI agent with a knife. They later said it was no longer clear what happened.

Attorney Cohen did not attend today’s conference, held at the Tampa office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

One of Tampa’s best-known defense attorneys, Cohen’s clients have included former University of South Florida football coach Jim Leavitt, who was fired by the university, and Jennifer Porter, a former school teacher who fled an accident that left two children dead.

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