|Ex-Patriot Brandon Spikes ‘confused about the justice system’ after Aaron Hernandez verdict||04.15.15 at 11:23 am ET|
Spikes played with Hernandez at the University of Florida, and both were drafted by the Patriots in 2010 — Spikes in the second round and Hernandez in the fourth. Spikes now is preparing for his second season with the Bills after the Patriots elected not to re-sign him following the 2013 season.
Minutes after Hernandez was found guilty of first-degree murder in the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd, Spikes tweeted: IM CONFUSED ABOUT THE JUSTICE SYSTEM THESE DAYS !!!
IM CONFUSED ABOUT THE JUSTICE SYSTEM THESE DAYS !!!
‘ BrandonSpikes51 (@BrandonSpikes51) April 15, 2015
|Aaron Hernandez found guilty of first-degree murder||at 10:14 am ET|
Former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was found guilty of murder in the first degree in the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd. The verdict, which brings with it an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole, was announced at the Bristol County Courthouse in Fall River on Wednesday morning.
The jury had the option of deciding on murder in the first degree, murder in the second degree or not guilty. The jury ruled on murder in the first degree, adding that it was done with extreme atrocity or cruelty when asked by the court clerk.
Hernandez also was found guilty of weapons and ammunition charges.
Upon hearing the verdict, Hernandez looked over in the direction of his fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins, who began weeping and held a tissue over her eyes. She was consoled by Hernandez’s mother, Terri, who was sitting next to her.
Hernandez, who showed little emotion other than to mouth his apparent disagreement, was placed in handcuffs after the verdict and then sat down while his lawyers and courtroom security flanked him, all continuing to stand.
Lloyd’s family members also cried upon hearing the decision. Four of them — his mother, uncle, sister and cousin — later gave victim impact statements that focused on Lloyd before the sentence was formally announced and Hernandez was told he will spend the rest of his life in prison at MCI Cedar Junction in Walpole.
Said Lloyd’s mother, Ursula Ward: “I forgive the … people that had a hand in my son’s murder, either before or after. And I pray and hope that someday everyone out there will forgive them also.”
Added Ward: “The day I laid my son Odin … to rest, I felt my heart stop beating.”
Following the verdict announcement, Judge Susan Garsh thanked the jurors and told them they had the choice whether or not they wanted to discuss their thoughts with the media. She said a room had been set up for any jurors who wanted to participate in a press conference.
Hernandez, the former Patriots right end, was accused of murdering Lloyd in June 2013. His attorney admitted in his closing statement on Thursday that Hernandez was at the scene of the murder but denied he participated in the killing. Hernandez friends Carlos Ortiz and Ernest Wallace, who were in the car with Hernandez the night of the murder, are scheduled to be tried for Lloyd’s killing as well.
Hernandez also faces a double-murder charge related to a shooting in Boston in 2012.
|Local TV photographer ordered not to cover Aaron Hernandez trial after following jurors||04.09.15 at 2:29 pm ET|
The Aaron Herndandez trial took a strange turn on Thursday when two jurors said a news truck followed them after court on Wednesday.
Judge Susan E. Garsh ordered the WHDH-TV van driver to testify. The cameraman said he followed the jury bus to their parking lot after court on Wednesday as a way to know where the parking lot was located. He said he did not speak to any of the jurors.
The cameraman was ordered off the case by the judge as the court has previously issued an order that specified that “no person shall contact a juror” and following the bus was considered contact.
WHDH-TV as an entity is still allowed to cover the case.
The jury is still deliberating as of Thursday afternoon.
Prior to deliberation continuing Thursday morning in the Aaron Hernandez trial, two jurors were questioned by Judge Susan E. Garth.
After Wednesday’s court session, a WHDH-TV van reportedly followed two jurors into the parking lot. She called the situation “extraordinarily serious.” Both jurors were questioned, but then returned to the jury.
[UPDATE: 12:45]: WHDH-TV released a statement, which read: This morning, in the Aaron Hernandez trial, the judge questioned 7News as to any impropriety with the jury in the case. 7News did not approach any juror or talk to any juror. We also did not videotape or take pictures of any juror. We are continuing to work with the court and investigate the situation.
The jury is continuing their deliberation Thursday morning.
Garsh and attorneys questioned two jurors who allege a WHDH-TV van followed them after court Wednesday. Both still on jury. Garsh not happy
‘ Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) April 9, 2015
Judge Garsh says WHDH TV truck watched them yesterday. Garsh calls situation “extraordinarily serious.”
‘ Kevin Armstrong (@KevinGArmstrong) April 9, 2015
|Defense attorney says Aaron Hernandez witnessed murder||04.07.15 at 1:23 pm ET|
For the first time during the entire trial — in Tuesday’s closing arguments — the attorney for Aaron Hernandez acknowledged his client witnessed the killing of Odin Lloyd. He described Hernandez as a kid who didn’t know what to do, and said to the jury once again his client was not guilty.
The defense said the murder was by Hernandez’s co-defendants, Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz.
In the prosecution’s closing arguments, they argued Hernandez’s actions after the murder show he was involved.
Closing arguments are over, and now the jury will receive instructions to deliberate.
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|Michael McCann on D&C: ‘I think the defense is very confident’ in Aaron Hernandez trial||04.06.15 at 10:07 am ET|
Attorney and SI.com legal analyst Michael McCann joined the Dennis & Callahan show on Monday morning to discuss both the Aaron Hernandez and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev trials as they come to a close. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Since the beginning of the Hernandez trial, the prosecution has tried its best to get the job done. However, according to McCann, there are many aspects of the case that should be cause for doubt when the jurors finally have their chance to make a decision.
“There’s no murder weapon,” he said. “There’s no witness to the crime, the witnesses to the crime aren’t talking, there is ambiguous motive over why he would have done it, and even the idea of joint venture, that he was at the crime scene, doesn’t necessarily establish that he shared the intent to kill Odin Lloyd.
“And because it requires unanimous verdict and beyond a reasonable doubt, I think his lawyers have done an effective job of attacking the prosecution’s case,” McCann added. “Maybe the jurors will just decide he was at the crime scene, Odin Lloyd was killed, he had to have played some significant role in it, whether or not he was the shooter, but that requires a little bit of imagination, where the Boston Marathon bombing, we have no doubt. We have 100 percent certainty as to what happened. In this case, we don’t know what happened at the crime scene.”
The defense, though, has decided to only call one witness, which McCann said suggests that the defense believes it has won.
“I think the defense is very confident going into its one day of its case,” he said. “I think the defense believes that the prosecution failed to establish why Hernandez would have planned or intentionally killed Odin Lloyd or why he shared in the intent, that’s a big gamble.”
McCann also noted that this could be a sign of caution from the defense as well, as putting up too many witness who are subjected to cross-examination could lead to the prosecution making up “some ground that it arguably could have lost during its own case.”
|Judge denies Aaron Hernandez defense team’s request to dismiss case||04.03.15 at 10:16 am ET|
One day after the prosecution wrapped up its case in the Aaron Hernandez murder trial, the defense team requested Friday morning that the case be dismissed. The request was denied by Judge Susan Garsh.
The defense argued that the state left “gaping holes” in its case, failing to prove a motive and intent for Hernandez to kill Odin Lloyd in June 2013.
The jury was not present Friday, having been sent home for the weekend Thursday with a reminder not to discuss the case.
While the prosecution called 131 witnesses and introduced hundreds of pieces of evidence, the defense is expected to present its witnesses and rest its case in one day. The defense has indicated that it will attempt to blame Hernandez associates Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz for committing the murder while high on PCP.