Updates from Thursday, Oct. 30
The Associated Press reports on the verdict of Hernandez's attorney's request to switch venues:
A Massachusetts judge has rejected a request from former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez to move his trial in the fatal shooting of a semi-professional football player to a different county.
Hernandez is charged in the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiance.
On Thursday, Hernandez's lawyer told a judge that media coverage of the case has been sensational and has "poisoned" the jury pool in Bristol County against Hernandez.
John R. Ellement of the Boston Globe has an update on Hernandez's request to move trial venues:
Attorneys for alleged murderer Aaron Hernandez are claiming that Bristol County prosecutors borrowed words and ideas in their court filings from the federal prosecutors who are bringing the case against alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
The defense wrote that Bristol District Attorney C. Samuel Sutter’s office, in opposing their change of venue request, cut and pasted sections from documents that federal prosecutors had filed in the Tsarnaev case.
“Leaving aside all of the reactions one might have on many levels to this extensive, undisclosed submission of another’s work to a court, the conduct appears to convey a lack of interest on the part of the Commonwealth in fashioning its own vigorous opposition to Hernandez’s motion for a change of venue,’’ Hernandez’s attorneys wrote.
“By simply cutting and pasting the work of others, the Commonwealth conveys the message that a recycled opposition is sufficient to blunt Hernandez’s motion for a change of venue. In so doing, the Commonwealth greatly misapprehends the well-founded basis for Hernandez’s motion and the unique circumstances of this case,’’ the defense wrote.
The prosecutors responded to the claims, according to Ellement:
“We do not respond to personal attacks, especially where the very issue before the court is the extent of media sensationalism surrounding the present case,” the statement said, adding that parties are required to cite relevant case law in court filings.
“To the extent that both the Tsarnaev and Hernandez change of venue motions raise the same basic legal issues, we were required to cite the same Supreme Court cases setting out the governing law as the US Attorney’s Office. Any experienced legal observer would understand that this is a standard practice.”
Updates from Tuesday, Oct. 7
Albert Breer of NFL.com reports on when Hernandez's trial is scheduled to begin:
Aaron Hernandez's trial for the murder of Odin Lloyd is set for January 9, the Friday before the NFL's divisional playoff weekend.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) October 7, 2014
Erika Niedowski of the Associated Press reports an update on potential evidence in the case:
Bullets found in an apartment rented by ex-New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez and a magazine found in his Hummer were thrown out as evidence in his murder case Thursday by a judge who said state police didn't demonstrate probable cause for the searches.
Judge E. Susan Garsh said there were "absolutely no facts" linking Hernandez "in any way at all to the crime under investigation" in an affidavit supporting the warrant application to search his Franklin apartment. That warrant was for a cellphone belonging to co-defendant Carlos Ortiz, who was with Hernandez when Odin Lloyd was killed.
Police applied for additional warrants after that first search, including one to look for ammunition. But the judge ruled that evidence gathered during the subsequent searches had to be thrown out because authorities hadn't demonstrated probable cause for the first one.
Authorities have said they never recovered the weapon used in Lloyd's killing but believe it was a .45-caliber pistol. The items tossed out Thursday include .45-caliber bullets and a .45-caliber magazine.
Updates from Wednesday, Oct. 1
Scott Isaacs of WCVB provides an update on Aaron Hernandez's case:
Updates from Monday, Sept. 8
The Associated Press has the latest request from Aaron Hernandez's legal team in the Odin Lloyd case:
Lawyers for former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez have asked a judge to suppress evidence from his cellphone, saying state police didn't have a warrant to take it after his arrest last year.
The motion filed Monday in Bristol Superior Court says prosecutors misled his attorneys and improperly relied on warrants they had to search Hernandez's home and the phone. The filing says that when prosecutors learned Hernandez's attorneys had the phone, they should have sought a separate, more stringent, search warrant for the law firm.
The court filing says prosecutors "deliberately induced Mr. Hernandez's lawyers to turn over his cell phone based upon a false claim of legal authority."
Updates from Monday, Aug. 11
ESPN.com reported on a motion by Aaron Hernandez's defense team:
The judge in the Aaron Hernandez murder case will consider a motion by the defense to exclude evidence from some electronic devices seized from the former New England Patriots star's home.
Hernandez's lawyers say some evidence, specifically a BlackBerry cellphone, is not admissible because it was not part of the original search warrant.
Judge E. Susan Garsh spent most of the short hearing Monday trying to determine exactly which of three cellphones seized the defense was referring to.
Updates from Friday, July 25
The Associated Press (via ESPN.com) reports a development on Aaron Hernandez's case:
A judge has rejected a motion by lawyers for Aaron Hernandez to dismiss charges stemming from the 2013 slaying of a Boston man whose body was found near the former New England Patriot player's home.
Hernandez's lawyers argued that prosecutors hadn't shown probable cause to sustain the murder charge against Hernandez in the death of Odin Lloyd and hadn't presented any evidence or motive for the slaying.
Updates from Tuesday, July 22
The Associated Press reports that a dispute in the case has been resolved:
A lawyer for Aaron Hernandez says a dispute over records the defense had sought from the New England Patriots has been resolved, though it's unclear whether the documents were turned over.
Hernandez attorney Michael Fee said Tuesday in Fall River Superior Court the matter has been resolved. A separate hearing before a different judge had been scheduled for the afternoon. The defense refused to comment outside court.
Updates from Wednesday, July 16
The Associated Press (via ESPN) reported on a development in the case against Aaron Hernandez:
Prosecutors say they have "direct evidence" that the fiancee of former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez lied to the grand jury that indicted him on a murder charge in the slaying of Odin Lloyd, including about a box she discarded at Hernandez's direction.
The prosecution said in a filing Wednesday it has evidence that contradicts multiple pieces of Shayanna Jenkins' testimony. Jenkins has pleaded not guilty to perjury.
Updates from Tuesday, July 15
The Associated Press provides an update on Aaron Hernandez's case:
A Massachusetts judge on Monday rejected a bid by lawyers for former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez to suppress evidence from a cellphone and video surveillance footage taken from his home during an investigation into the killing of a friend.
In denying the request, Judge E. Susan Garsh said in a written ruling that police had a reasonable basis to infer that Hernandez's home surveillance system "likely captured the images of whoever entered, left and returned to Hernandez's house in the hours immediately before and after the shooting" of Lloyd.
"Thus, the (search warrant) affidavit created probably cause for the magistrate to believe that a search of Hernandez's residence for the home surveillance video would produce evidence that would aid in the apprehension or conviction of Lloyd's killer," the judge wrote.
Updates from Monday, July 7
Zachary T. Sampson and Martin Finucane of The Boston Globe provide a synopsis of the judge's ruling on where Aaron Hernandez will remain in jail:
Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez, who faces a total of three murder charges in two counties, will be moved to a jail closer to Boston so he can be closer to his lawyers, a judge ruled today.
Bristol Superior Court Judge E. Susan Garsh made the ruling after prosecutors made no objection to the move, which defense attorneys was needed so Hernandez can meet with his lawyers to prepare his defense in the two cases.
Updates from Wednesday, July 2
Albert Breer of NFL Network has the latest on Hernandez's arbitration hearing with the Patriots:
There's no set date for Aaron Hernandez's arbitration hearing with Patriots over the signing bonus money. Was initially expected in June.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) July 2, 2014
At issue is Hernandez's $12.5M signing bonus. Pats paid $6M at signing, $3.25M in March '13. Didn't make the $3.25M payment in March '14.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) July 2, 2014
Hernandez's camp trying to recover the $3.25M, which could wind up in the hands of the victim's families. Pats may try to get more $$ back.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) July 2, 2014
The Associated Press provides more details on the bonus, (via ESPN):
A lawyer for the families of two men allegedly gunned down by former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez will ask a judge to bar the football team from paying Hernandez a $3.25 million contract signing bonus.
William Kennedy, an attorney representing the men's families in wrongful death lawsuits, said the Patriots have challenged Hernandez's right to receive the bonus. But Kennedy said he wants a court order in case the team is ordered to pay Hernandez.
Updates from Wednesday, June 18
CBS Connecticut has the latest on Hernandez's trial:
Aaron Hernandez’s attorneys asked a judge on Tuesday to approve their subpoena to the New England Patriots for the team’s medical, psychological and other records on the former player.
On Monday, a Bristol Superior Court judge set a July deadline for the team to respond to the defense’s earlier requests for the 2010-2013 records. But in a motion filed Tuesday, Hernandez’s attorneys said the records are potentially relevant to his circumstances and state of mind, and asked to have them within 30 days.
The Patriots did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The motion seeks records including, but not limited to, “psychological testing, medication records, X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, drug or alcohol abuse-related records, other medical records, physical therapy records, scouting reports, and investigative reports.”
The motion said the request “is not intended as a general `fishing’ expedition” but is essential to preparing for his trial, which may begin in October.
Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez had his day in court on Monday with a pretrial hearing for the murder of Odin Lloyd in June 2013. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder.
During the hearing, which took place in front of only a judge, Hernandez's attorneys went on the offensive.
According to Ted Daniel of Fox 25 in Boston, Hernandez's defense claimed that video taken from his home was obtained illegally.
Defense claims cops seized video from inside AH North Attleboro home illegally. More than 1k files on his system pic.twitter.com/ZFV2LHyD04— Ted Daniel (@TedDanielFOX25) June 16, 2014
Daniel also noted that there appeared to be a gap in the prosecution's definition of probable cause and Hernandez's lawyers' definition of it:
Judge raising all the evidence against Hernandez and asking defense how it does not meet probable cause.— Ted Daniel (@TedDanielFOX25) June 16, 2014
Defense: Prosecution had "theory" that Hernandez killed Lloyd not probable cause— Ted Daniel (@TedDanielFOX25) June 16, 2014
Hernandez's defense lawyers stated that the fire surrounding their client was substantial:
Defense: There is "a lot smoke, no doubt about it."— Ted Daniel (@TedDanielFOX25) June 16, 2014
Daniel continued with details surrounding another shooting now linked to Hernandez:
MA prosecutors just publicly blamed AH for Alexander Bradley shooting in Florida in Feb. No charges in that case but Bradley is suing AH— Ted Daniel (@TedDanielFOX25) June 16, 2014
Prosecution: Bradley (non-fatal) shooting and Lloyd (fatal) shooting similar b/c shows AH using "overkill"— Ted Daniel (@TedDanielFOX25) June 16, 2014
As far as the prosecution goes, ESPN's Michele Steele noted that the District Attorney may have found a potential motive for the murder:
For the first time, we are hearing why Aaron Hernandez would kill Odin Lloyd - "something" Hernandez told him at a club two days before— Michele Steele (@ESPNMichele) June 16, 2014
New info in Lloyd case: DA detailing potential motive that Hernandez had "concern about something he disclosed to Odin Lloyd"— Michele Steele (@ESPNMichele) June 16, 2014
The fact that there could be movement on a motive is huge for the DA. Jenny Wilson of the Hartford Courant wrote in February that the prosecutors sent Hernandez's lawyers evidence suggesting a motive, though it was "not revealed in court records, but its existence provides the first clue into what prosecutors might be exploring as a motive in the Lloyd slaying."
Hernandez's lawyers are arguing that the the investigators don't have the proper evidence to show that the former NFL star was involved in the murder:
Hernandez lawyer: investigators can show Hernandez was with Lloyd but do not have enough to show Hernandez was a "participant" in killing— Michele Steele (@ESPNMichele) June 16, 2014
Aaron Hernandez lawyer James Sultan argues court should dismiss murder charge in Odin Lloyd case "there's not a scintilla of evidence"— Michele Steele (@ESPNMichele) June 16, 2014
Judge in Lloyd murder case decides on trial date for Aaron Hernandez : Oct 6— Michele Steele (@ESPNMichele) June 16, 2014
It has been a long, shocking journey to reach this point, with new details emerging at every stage. It will be very interesting to see what develops from both sides in this case moving forward.
With the prosecution appearing to have some forward movement on a motive for the murder, Hernandez's lawyers are still clinging to the notion that none of this amounts to necessary probable cause for a trial.