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Mass. Trooper Unlikely to be Fired Over Photos

The state police sergeant who leaked dramatic photos of the arrest of accused marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been put on a uniform beat -- but he probably won't be fired, his boss said yesterday.

State police Superintendent Timothy Alben said Sgt. Sean Murphy has broken protocol and will face discipline, but termination does not appear to be on the table. The possible reprieve came after Alben ruled Murphy, 48, should be placed on restricted duty today pending the outcome of an investigation.

"In the reality of it, I don't see Sgt. Murphy being terminated for this particular set of circumstances," Alben said after a hearing with Murphy, his lawyer and a union rep. "That is not a realistic option for the state police."

Alben said he heard the public support for Murphy "loud and clear."

"What I want the public to understand is there's a responsibility that we have as investigators not to do this. There's a process here in which we guarantee the rights of those that are prosecuted," he said.

Alben said restrictive duty does not mean Murphy is suspended, or his $108,500 annual pay or position is taken away. Possible punishments for Murphy, he added, include "a letter of counseling to some period of lost time."

Murphy was tempor-arily relieved of duty for one day after he released photos of Tsarnaev climbing out of a boat April 19 at the end of a deadly manhunt.

The trooper said he shared the half-dozen images last week in response to a cover photo used by Rolling Stone magazine.

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