|Judge in Aaron Hernandez case will allow some jailhouse phone calls||03.25.15 at 1:07 pm ET|
Superior Court Judge Susan Garsh said Wednesday she will allow some of Aaron Hernandez’s phone calls from jail to be used by the prosecution in its murder case against the former Patriot.
Hernandez’s lawyers had asked for those conversations — including those with his fiancee and Dolphins offensive lineman Mike Pouncey (a former University of Florida teammate) — to be excluded. The prosecution said it did not plan to use the calls with Pouncey.
Garsh said she would rule later on which calls could be included.
Also Wednesday, Garsh said prosecutors are “about a week or so” away from resting their case in the trial, which has gone on for eight weeks.
Hernandez is accused of killing Odin Lloyd in June 2013.
|Report: Brandon Browner has visits scheduled with 2 teams||03.11.15 at 8:21 am ET|
Cornerback Brandon Browner, who became a free agent after the Patriots elected not to pick up his option, was in New Orleans on Wednesday morning visiting with the Saints, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Schefter also tweeted that Browner was scheduled to fly to Washington next and meet with team brass there.
Browner was slated to earn a base salary of $1.9 million in 2015 had the Patriots picked up a roster bonus of $2 million. The team picks up $4.8 million in salary cap space with the move.
In his lone season in New England, Browner played in nine games (he was suspended for the first four by the league) and combined with Darrelle Revis to give the Patriots an impressive defensive backfield.
|Reports: Jets agree to acquire Brandon Marshall; Colts part ways with Reggie Wayne||03.06.15 at 11:58 am ET|
A couple of big-name wide receivers are on the move, and it affects two of the Patriots’ rivals.
According to multiple reports, the Bears have agreed to trade Brandon Marshall to the Jets. ESPN’s Adam Schefter writes that the deal will become official when free agency opens Tuesday afternoon.
A five-time Pro Bowler, Marshall struggled with injuries last season, his ninth in the league, and finished with just 721 receiving yards. Heading into 2014, he had surpassed 1,000 receiving yards in seven consecutive seasons.
Marshall, 30, has had his share of off-field problems, including last season when he allegedly went on a rant in the locker room after a loss to the Dolphins. In New York he would be reunited with new Jets coach Todd Bowles, who was an assistant in Miami when Marshall played there.
Meanwhile, the Colts announced Friday that they will not re-sign Reggie Wayne, making him an unrestricted free agent next week. Wayne has not said if he plans to return in 2015.
Wayne has spent all 14 of his NFL seasons with Indianapolis and is the franchise leader in regular-season games (211) and second in receptions (1,070), receiving yards (14,345), receiving touchdowns (80) and consecutive games with a reception (134).
“Reggie is one of the greatest men to ever wear the horseshoe, and we have been blessed to watch him play for the past 14 years,” Colts owner Jim Irsay said in a statement. “When he first took the field with us in 2001, we knew this day would eventually arrive. That reality is one of the things that makes pro football such a tough business. We feel this decision is in the best interests of the team and for Reggie as it will allow him to seek a better opportunity for playing time elsewhere if he so chooses.”
|Policeman testifies that casing found in Aaron Hernandez’s vehicle matches those found at murder scene||02.25.15 at 1:04 pm ET|
The murder weapon in the Odin Lloyd shooting has not been located, but on Wednesday a Massachusetts State Police sergeant testified in court that the shell casing found in Aaron Hernandez’s rental car matched ones found at the murder scene.
At Hernandez’s trial in Fall River, Sgt. Stephen Walsh said the casing found inside Hernandez’s Nissan Altima by an employee of the rental car company and the five found at the scene were fired by the same gun — a Glock.
The defense responded by claiming bullets fired by a Glock can’t be identified like that.
|ESPN’s Kelly Naqi on MFB: Latest Patriots accusation ‘a whole separate issue’ from Deflategate||02.18.15 at 11:45 am ET|
Kelly Naqi, the reporter for ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” who wrote the story claiming Patriots locker room attendant Jim McNally gave a referee an unapproved kicking football during the AFC championship game, joined Middays with MFB on Wednesday morning to discuss the latest allegation. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
Naqi, a Rhode Island native and Boston College graduate, said she is not implying that her report is proof of a wider conspiracy following the initial Deflategate accusations, although she said NFL investigator Ted Wells “is looking into this.”
“This is a whole separate issue,” she said. “I do not know if this is the same locker room attendant who reportedly stopped in the bathroom on the way to the field with the game balls. This person, who is a strong person of interest, I don’t know if it’s the same person. I do know that it is, as you a said, a separate issue.
“This officials locker room attendant, whose job it is to oversee the officials locker room — to get them food, to get them whatever they need — I was told it was atypical for an officials locker room attendant to be on the sideline during an NFL game, to be right in the team box area, which is between the 30-yard line and the 30-yard line.
“You can’t introduce a ‘K’ ball into the game. There’s a ‘K’ ball official for that. It’s an alternate official who’s assigned to playoff games. … During the playoffs, the NFL has one if its alternate NFL officials oversee the kicking balls. McNally, for reasons which we don’t know, we don’t speculate on it, but he went up to the alternate official who in the AFC championship game was an NFL back judge named Greg Yette, and he tried to introduce a ball that had not been pre-approved into the kicking game.”
Asked if the new football was not properly inflated, Naqi said she does not know.
“Not marked, that’s all I know,” she said. “The referee marks all the game balls and all the kicking balls that can go into the game. What marks Walt Anderson, the referee, used, I have no idea. Was it his initials? was it a stamp? I have no idea. But that is how the alternate official knows for a fact that these balls are approved to be used in this AFC championship game. From what my sources tell me, Jim McNally, the officials locker room attendant, went over to Greg Yette — who has not commented to me — went over to Greg Yette and handed him a ball to try to get it into the kicking balls rotation and get it to be used in the game.”
Naqi said she does not have the information about when in the first half this incident occurred, nor is she trying to make it part of a bigger picture.
“I am making no speculation,” she said.” All I’m saying is this: The officials locker room attendant clearly knows that this ball was not approved for use in the AFC championship game. Yet he tried to hand it to the ‘K’ ball official to get it put into the game. That is literally all I am saying. I don’t know if it was before the Patriots were trying to kick a field goal, I don’t know if it’s before the Colts were trying to have a kickoff, I don’t know if it’s the other way around. I never made any reference to the timing of the game because I don’t know that.”
|Mike Florio on D&C: Not much to latest Deflategate accusation||02.18.15 at 9:12 am ET|
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning to discuss the latest Deflategate news. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
An ESPN report Tuesday indicated that Patriots locker room attendant Jim McNally attempted to submit an unapproved kicking ball to an official during the first half of the AFC championship game. It’s not clear what advantage the Patriots would have been trying to gain by this action.
“My first reaction was ESPN’s been grinding away to try to put more meat on the bone, and this is all they have?” Florio said. “It really doesn’t seem like the kind of thing that anyone’s going to stand up and say, ‘Aha! This is the smoking gun that everyone’s been waiting for.’ And we may be waiting for it forever. There may never be one. At some point there’s going to be a report issued by Ted Wells that’s going to have all the facts in there.
“I was not surprised there has been no tangible developments in more than a couple of weeks. But I look at it and I say, yeah, this is completely different than deflating footballs, and … this is the result of an effort by ESPN to find anything they can to report on the topic.”
The Patriots reportedly believe that NFL vice president of game operations Mike Kensil is aggressively pursuing accusations against the Patriots because of his past history as a longtime Jets executive.
“I know the Patriots believe that Kensil has that bias and he’s been looking for something to stick to the Patriots,” Florio said. “It doesn’t speak well of the league office if there are employees who are allowed to act out on these agendas from past team relationships. And Kensil’s dad was at one point the president of the Jets, too. When you work for the league office, you become Switzerland. Otherwise you’re going to have these situations arise and even if Roger Goodell had no involvement in it, this all ends up on his desk and he’s the one who’s going to have to find a way through it.
“And here’s the reality: It very well could be that Kensil was acting out on a vendetta against the Patriots but also tripped over something that the NFL now has to deal with. I just hope that the NFL — as it should have done in the Saints bounty case and as it should do in every future case where there’s an allegation of cheating — broaden the lens and satisfy itself that this in an aberration, that other teams don’t do this, before hammering any one franchise. I think the NFL’s approach is, ‘When we catch somebody we’re going to nail ‘em, no matter how widespread this practice may be.’ ”
|Another juror dismissed in Aaron Hernandez case||02.11.15 at 1:16 pm ET|
For the second time in two weeks, a juror was dismissed from the Aaron Hernandez trial in Fall River.
Judge Susan Garsh told remaining jurors after Wednesday’s short morning session it was “for reasons that were entirely personal to that juror. It has nothing to do with this case.”
The panel now has 16 jurors, 12 of whom will decide Hernandez’s guilt or innocence in the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd.
Wednesday’s session was the first since last Thursday. Jurors routed Hernandez’s home and the crime scene on Friday, and snow forced postponement of sessions on Monday and Tuesday.
The trial will resume Friday.
During Wednesday’s session, Shayanna Jenkins, Hernandez’s fiancee, was in her usual seat behind Hernandez, and the two showed their affection toward each other. Jenkins was given immunity Tuesday, which means she can be forced to testify or face jail time.