|Prosecutors say Aaron Hernandez trial should take 6-10 weeks||12.22.14 at 1:52 pm ET|
Aaron Hernandez appeared in Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River on Monday in one of the final hearings before his trial next month in the killing of Odin Lloyd, and prosecutors said the trial is expected to last 6-10 weeks and include the testimony of about 45 witnesses.
Hernandez, who pleaded not guilty to Lloyd’s 2013 murder as well as the shooting deaths of two men in Boston in 2012, has one more pre-trial hearing scheduled on Jan. 6, three days before jury selection begins.
Hernandez’s fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins, had a hearing in the same courtroom earlier. She pleaded not guilty to lying before a grand jury that was seeking evidence about Hernandez’s role in the murder.
Hernandez’s attorney, Michael Fee, requested the right to question potential jurors during the selection process in court, but the judge denied it.
|Judge rules victim’s texts won’t be used as evidence in Aaron Hernandez case||12.12.14 at 11:28 am ET|
The prosecution said texts sent from Odin L. Lloyd to his sister on the night of his murder showed that he was fearful for his life. The defense team representing Hernandez, however, argued otherwise.
“On their face, these messages do not suggest fear,” said defense attorney James Sultan. “They do not suggest knowledge of impending death. They are totally innocuous on their face, but, of course, the government wants to put a much more sinister cast on them.”
In the end, Judge Susan E. Garsh decided the messages will not be used as evidence in the case, saying Hernandez did not see the texts or know about Lloyd’s alleged fearful feelings.
“The victim’s attitude of hostility toward a defendant, unknown to the defendant, is irrelevant and inadmissible,” Garsh said. “And even a statement of fear, even if known to the defendant, generally sheds no light on whether the defendant had a motive to kill him and is not admissible.”
The jury selection process for the murder trial is set to begin on Jan. 5.
|Bill Belichick, Robert Kraft on witness list for upcoming Aaron Hernandez trial||12.01.14 at 7:08 pm ET|
Prosecutors have listed Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft as potential witnesses in Aaron Hernandez‘s upcoming murder trial, according to a list released Monday by prosecutors.
The list is for the trial of the alleged first-degree murder of Odin Lloyd in 2013. The list includes over 300 names and besides Belichick and Kraft, also listed is former Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes and Dolphins lineman Mike Pouncey, both teammates of Hernandez at the University of Florida. Also on the list is Hernandez’s fiancee, Shanyanna Jenkins, and his cousin, Tanya Singleton.
Jury selection for the trial is scheduled for Jan. 9.
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|Denying request from defense, judge will not move Aaron Hernandez trial||10.31.14 at 10:06 am ET|
Despite the pleas of his lawyer, Aaron Hernandez will not have the trial for his case moved from the confines of Bristol County.
Hernandez’s lawyer, Michael Fee, argued that media coverage of the proceedings has made possible jurors biased against the former Patriots tight end. Results from a telephone poll run by the defense reportedly showed that more than half of the people asked within the county believe that Hernandez most likely is guilty of murdering Odin Lloyd.
“This has poisoned the jury pool in Bristol County,” Fee said of the media.
Judge Susan E. Garsh, however, was not moved by the defense’s case, and said she will keep the trial within Bristol County. Garsh said she believes that impartial and unbiased jurors will can be selected from within the county, as over 1,000 people are going to be summoned to possibly be on the jury.
The trial for the Lloyd case is set to begin in early January 2015. Hernandez also is facing charges in Suffolk County for the shooting of two men in the summer of 2012. That trial is set for May 28.
|Aaron Hernandez ‘felt helpless’ during police occupation of his home in 2013||09.17.14 at 10:56 am ET|
Aaron Hernandez has been mostly quiet since his incarceration in 2013 for the murder of Odin Lloyd, but through a court filing released Tuesday, the former Patriots tight end revealed some of his thoughts about the case.
When police investigated the murder in June 2013, they searched the Hernandez home and also wanted Hernandez’s cell phone. Hernandez said in the document that the investigation of his home made him worried for his the rest of his family.
“I felt helpless in the face of the occupation of my house by the police,” Hernandez said. “I was also very concerned about what would happen to my fiancee and our baby if I refused to answer their questions.”
The court filling is an attempt to support a motion that would suppress evidence from Hernandez’s cell phone. During the occupation of the house by 10 officers, Hernandez said police asked for the phone and its password.
The day before the investigation of the home, lawyers told police that all questions about the case should be directed toward them and not Hernandez. The ex-player’s attorneys also said Hernandez should have been read a Miranda warning to remain silent.
Hernandez’s legal team also is looking to suppress evidence that police took from his SUV, saying the warrant to search it did not have probable cause.
|Judge denies Aaron Hernandez’s dismissal request||07.25.14 at 9:24 am ET|
The defense had requested Garsh dismiss all charges against Hernandez because Bristol prosecutors haven’t shown who actually fired the shots that killed Lloyd in a North Attleboro industrial park last summer.
Garsh wrote the defense also argued that the only proof on Hernandez is that he was in a car with friends Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz when they picked up Lloyd that night.
Garsh ruled Thursday the Commonwealth, “was not required to present evidence before the grand jury as to exactly how Hernandez participated in the murder or as to who shot Lloyd,” given the evidence already provided.
“He claims that the evidence demonstrated no more than his presence in the car with Ortiz, Wallace, and Lloyd shortly before Lloyd was shot to death,” Garsh wrote. “The grand jury heard sufficient evidence to establish probable cause that Hernandez intentionally participated in some meaningful way in the commission of the offense.”
Hernandez is being charged with first-degree murder in Lloyd’s death.
Garsh noted the alleged motive for Lloyd’s killing. According to the ruling, Hernandez allegedly was upset that he had taken Lloyd to his Franklin townhouse, which he apparently didn’t want him knowing about, following a trip to a Boston nightclub on June 14, 2013.
Hernandez allegedly summoned Wallace and Ortiz on June 16, picked up Lloyd from his home and shot him to death at about 3:30 a.m.
|Bill Belichick has ‘no further comment’ on text messages with Aaron Hernandez||07.23.14 at 10:28 am ET|
A TV reporter asked the Patriots head coach if he were concerned about the text messages exchanged between Aaron Hernandez and members of the Patriots organization, including Belichick himself.
“I think that was addressed by a lawyer last week and I don’t have any further comment on it,” Belichick said, referencing the statement put out last Friday night by Andrew Phelan, a partner at Bingham McCutcheon. Phelan clarified that there were not 33 pages of texts between the two sides but rather a total of 34 texts.
“Earlier this week, a report indicated that an exchange of text messages between the team’s head coach and Mr. Hernandez totaled 33 pages,” Phelan said in Friday’s statement. “While it is unknown how the texts were printed or displayed, I thought it was important to clarify that during an early investigation conducted by state prosecutors, the team produced a total of 34 text messages (not pages of texts) spanning a period of five months (December 2012 – April 2013) between the head coach and Mr. Hernandez.”
On Tuesday, Michael Fee, an attorney for Hernandez, said the dispute over text messages had been resolved.
Hernandez is in a Boston jail awaiting trial in two separate murder cases. Hernandez is accused of killing Odin Lloyd in June 2013. He was released by the Patriots before the calendar turned to July. Hernandez is also accused in the double homicide in Boston in Feb. 2012, just weeks after taking part in the Super Bowl loss to the Giants in Indianapolis.
Still, the reporter continued her line of questioning with Belichick Wednesday morning at the end of the 12-minute news conference.
Is it something you routinely do with your players, texting back and forth?
“I don’t have any further comment on it,” Belichick said.
Do you approach your new players differently now based on what [Hernandez] allegedly did weeks before camp [in 2013]?
“No further comment,” Belichick said before the news conference came to an end.