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Prosecutors seek removal of judge in Aaron Hernandez murder trial

10.09.13 at 5:29 pm ET
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Aaron Hernandez appeared in court Wednesday at a pre-trial hearing. (AP)

Aaron Hernandez appeared in court Wednesday at a pre-trial hearing. (AP)

Prosecutors in the Aaron Hernandez murder trial suspect the worst when it comes to Bristol County Superior Court Judge Susan Garsh. That much was made clear as Hernandez appeared in Bristol County Superior Court Wednesday.

Lead prosecutor and Bristol County Assistant D.A. William McCauley Wednesday filed a motion to remove Garsh, a judge he says has shown “antagonism” toward the government in the past.

Hernandez appeared in court Wednesday for the first time since his arraignment on first degree murder charges in the shooting of 27-year old former associate Odin Lloyd in June.

Garsh said she would schedule a separate hearing and denied McCauley’s request for a confidential sidebar on the request to have her recused from the case.

McCauley’s skepticism toward Garsh dates to a 2010 murder trial, after which McCauley ripped the judge in an interview. McCauley claimed the judge showed “antagonism” toward the government throughout the case.

Defense lawyers in that case defended Garsh as fair while and Hernandez’s legal representatives said Wednesday they would oppose the prosecution’s motion. Garsh was assigned the Hernandez case two weeks ago after he pleaded not guilty to an indictment charging him with killing Lloyd and weapons possession.

During Wednesday’s hearing, Hernandez was briefly called to the stand so the judge could ask him about a potential conflict of interest, as one of his defense lawyers works in the same firm as the wife of one of the prosecutors. Hernandez said he was aware of the connection but did not have a problem with it. The judge asked him a series of questions, including what kind of work he did.

“I played football – NFL,” he told Garsh in a barely audible voice.

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