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Bristol County Sheriff Tom Hodgson on D&C: Aaron Hernandez altercation raises questions of ‘potential failure in our protocols’

02.27.14 at 10:22 am ET
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After a physical altercation with another inmate, former Patriot Aaron Hernandez has been relocated to an isolated cell at Bristol County Jail. Hernandez, who is being held without bail for the murder of Odin Lloyd, will eat his meals and spend 23 hours per day in the cell.

According to reports, Hernandez confronted another inmate in a hallway and attacked him because he had been taunting the former tight end.

“The investigation is still ongoing — we’re reviewing the surveillance tapes [and] my investigators are working with the witness statements and so forth,” Bristol County Sheriff Tom Hodgson said on the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning (listen to the interview at the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page). “We’re trying to piece it all together and figure out exactly what went wrong and find out if in fact there were any relationships along the way — over the course of the time here or anywhere else.”

During the one hour each day that Hernandez is not in his cell, he must wear waist chains and leg irons. According to Hodgson, Hernandez was sent to isolation for the duration of the investigation, but he will not necessarily stay there for 30 days as was initially reported.

Before the altercation, Hernandez was in special management, where he was allowed out of his cell for three non-consecutive hours each day. The prison’s protocol requires that only one inmate can be out of his cell at a time. The altercation took place in one of the common areas of the Bristol County House of Correction on Tuesday.

“The fact that there was another inmate out in that common area raises questions for me about potential failures in our protocols and potentially an employee making a bad decision or not thinking about what they otherwise could be doing,” Hodgson said.

“We’re like anybody else in any organization — we can have systemic failures and sometimes that happens. We have to look at that and say, ‘What are we going to do to fix this and make sure this doesn’t happen again?’”

Hodgson added that depending on the outcome of the investigation, Hernandez could go from facing internal disciplinary action to dealing with criminal charges for assault and battery. The sheriff could not confirm if the inmate Hernandez allegedly assaulted was in handcuffs at the time of the altercation.

Although Hernandez is being held after pleading not guilty to Lloyd’€™s murder, Hernandez also is under investigation for the deaths of two men who were killed in 2012. The families of Daniel Abreu and Safiro Furtado, who were killed while they were in their car in the South End, filed two $6 million wrongful death suits against Hernandez on Wednesday. The case was filed in Suffolk Superior Court.

Back in September, police acquired a video that showed Hernandnez and the two men at a Boston nightclub at the same time. Abreu and Safiro were shot and killed a few hours later.

Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Tom Hodgson,
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