|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.
|Judge in Aaron Hernandez trial admonishes defense attorney for Deflategate joke||02.06.15 at 11:05 am ET|
Superior Court Judge Susan Garsh has made it clear she doesn’t want any distractions as she oversees the Aaron Hernandez murder trial in Fall River. On Friday, she reminded Hernandez’s lawyer after the attorney made a Deflategate joke.
As a state trooper was testifying about tire pressure Thursday, attorney James Sultan jokingly asked the policeman if he had ever received “training in football deflation devices.”
As the trial resumed Friday morning, Garsh told Sultan that it is serious business, and she does not want any more joking around. Sultan acknowledged and expressed his regret.
The jury was scheduled to tour Hernandez’s North Attleboro home Friday. On Thursday the defense agreed to a prosecution request to remove trophies and religious items that had been added to the home since the events of June 2013, when Odin Lloyd was shot to death and dumped outside an office park near Hernandez’s home. The prosecution cited the O.J. Simpson case, noting that the defense added family photos and religious items to make it appear the defendant was a religious family man.
|Judge in Aaron Hernandez trial tells Odin Lloyd’s mother not to cry on stand||02.04.15 at 1:45 pm ET|
Ursula Ward, who left the courtroom in tears on two other days after seeing photos of her son’s body, started to get emotional again, but Superior Court Judge Susan Garsh told Ward she needed to be in control of her emotions and avoid crying when shown photos of her son. Ward managed to make it through her testimony without tearing up.
Earlier Wednesday, Lloyd’s girlfriend, Shaneah Jenkins, testified that Lloyd and Hernandez spent time together — including occasions when they smoked marijuana — but were not that close.
Jenkins is the sister of Hernandez’s fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins. After skipping Tuesday’s session, Shayanna was back in court Wednesday, sitting in the front row behind Hernandez and taking notes. She did not appear to make eye contact with her sister.
Hernandez’s defense team has said the former Patriot and Lloyd were friends and there was no reason Hernandez would want to kill him. Lloyd’s bullet-ridden body was found in an industrial park near Hernandez’s North Attleboro home in June 2013.
|Report: Colts LB D’Qwell Jackson, who allegedly sparked Deflategate investigation, arrested for punching pizza deliveryman||02.04.15 at 10:49 am ET|
Colts linebacker D’Qwell Jackson, whose interception in the AFC championship game was believed to be the spark for the Deflategate investigation, was arrested Tuesday night for punching a pizza deliveryman twice in the head during a dispute over a parking spot, according to a report out of Washington, D.C.
ABC7 reporter Jennifer Donelan tweeted that Jackson, 31, was issued a citation for simple assault. The alleged victim was treated by an ambulance on the scene but did not go to the hospital.
A Colts spokesman told the reporter that the team was aware of the arrest but had no comment.
When Jackson came up with a Tom Brady pass in the first half of the AFC title game, it gave the Colts possession of a football and apparently allowed Indianapolis to have evidence to support its pregame suspicion that the balls did not have enough air.
Jackson, however, has said that he noticed nothing wrong with the ball.
NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent said Colts general manager Ryan Grigson told the league during the second quarter that the Patriots might be tampering with the footballs.