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Thread: Former NE Patriot Aaron Hernandez Charged With First-Degree Murder

  1. #61

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    Warrant: Aaron Hernandez may have been gunman in 2012 double murder

    NFL

    BY SCOOBY AXSON

    Aaron Hernandez is facing a first-degree murder charge and several weapons charges. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)


    A search warrant request released Thursday says that authorities in Boston are investigating former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez for his possible involvement in a 2012 double murder, reports Pat Eaton-Robb of the Associated Press.

    No one has been charged in the deaths of Daniel Jorge Correia de Abreu and Safiro Teixeira Furtado, who were killed on July 16, 2012.
    According to the report, Hernandez is seen on surveillance footage in the same nightclub as the victims on the night of the murders. Documents in Connecticut confirm that police suspect Hernandez could have done the killing.
    Hernandez is currently in jail awaiting trial for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd. He pleaded not guilty to those and several weapons charges connected to the case.
    More from the AP:
    A June 28 police affidavit and search warrant application released by Superior Court in Bristol, Conn., says there is probable cause to believe that Hernandez was driving the vehicle used in the shooting and “may have been the shooter.”
    The affidavit was filed as police sought to search an SUV they say was involved in the shooting and was found at Hernandez’s uncle’s home in Bristol, where Hernandez was raised. The SUV had been given to Hernandez by a Rhode Island company in exchange for participating in promotional activities, according to court filings.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by IrishInNYC View Post

    ... search warrant application released by Superior Court in Bristol, Conn., says there is probable cause to believe that Hernandez was driving the vehicle used in the shooting and “may have been the shooter.”

    ... The SUV had been given to Hernandez by a Rhode Island company in exchange for participating in promotional activities ....
    Not necessarily the publicity that corporate branders are looking for

  3. #63

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    Last year he was in the NFL playoffs; this year he's not permitted to watch them.

  4. #64

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    Just how many murders do you suppose this guy is connected to. Wow, talk about a secret life.

  5. #65

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    Aaron Hernandez faces murder charges in 2012 killings

    By Maria Cramer, John R. Ellement, Evan Allen and Martin Finucane Globe Staff May 15, 2014

    Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez has been indicted on two counts of first-degree murder for allegedly firing a volley of shots from his car into another car, killing two men in Boston’s South End in 2012, Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said today.
    Hernandez is accused of murdering Daniel Abreu and Safiro Furtado. The two men were shot to death while stopped at a traffic light on July 16, 2012, by someone who drove up alongside them in an SUV with Rhode Island plates and opened fire.

    The new charges raise the disturbing possibility that Hernandez played NFL games during the 2012-2013 season after murdering two men.

    Hernandez now faces charges in three murders. He was already facing a first-degree murder charge in the June 2013 slaying of Odin L. Lloyd of Boston in North Attleborough. Conley had no comment on whether there was a connection between the double slaying in Boston and the slaying in North Atleborough.

    Conley said that after a “chance encounter” between Hernandez, Abreu, and Furtado at a Boston nightclub, Hernandez trailed the men in his car. Hernandez then allegedly pulled his car up to theirs, firing a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson pistol “multiple times” into the car, killing Abreu and Furtado, and injuring a third man.

    Conley said investigators had been able to recover the murder weapon and the car Hernandez was driving.

    “For us, this case was never about Aaron Hernandez. This case was about two victims, who were stalked, ambushed, and senselessly murdered on the streets of the city they called home,” said Conley.

    “This was a chance encounter where two young men were out ... and basically had an encounter that led to their deaths,” said Police Commissioner William Evans. “I remember going to the scene that morning. ... It was a terrible tragedy.”

    Conley said no more information would be available about the “texture and detail” of the encounter at the nightclub until he is arraigned. Conley’s office said that would happen next week at the earliest.

    Conley said media reports had originally suggested that Abreu and Furtado were tied to a Cape Verdean gang based in Dorchester. He said the characterization was “unfair to their families and to their memories.”

    “Neither of them were involved in gangs, guns, or violent crime of any kind,” he said.

    The grand jury has also indicted Hernandez’s cousin, Tanya Singleton, on a criminal contempt charge for refusing to testify to the grand jury about the SUV after being granted immunity, Conley said today.

    William T. Kennedy, who represents the Abreu and Furtado families, said that the families were overwhelmed by the news, but also determined to let the Boston community know that the people they lost to gun violence were good men wrongly cut down too early in their life.

    “The family would want people to know that Danny and Safiro were just two very good guys who were just trying to make their way in this world,’’ said Kennedy. “These are just a couple of hard-working guys who had dreams like any other. They worked together cleaning toilets at the Quincy YMCA.’’

    On the night of the murders, Kennedy said, “They went out with a couple of other fellas and went to the club, danced with a couple of pretty girls, had a couple of drinks and [were heading] home.’’

    He added: “And somehow, they were made the object of somebody’s sick pursuits. There is no good reason at all” for their killings.

    The two young men’s fathers, Ernesto Abreu and Salvador Furtado, attended a news conference with Kennedy this evening. They didn’t say much because of their limited English ability, but Ernesto described the two young men, childhood friends from Cape Verde, as “good boys.”

    “Thank you, everybody, the people that helped me,” he also said.

    Relatives of Abreu and Furtado have filed wrongful death lawsuits in Suffolk Superior Court. Each family is demanding that Hernandez pay them $6 million in damages.

    The investigation into the murders had reached a dead end until Boston police were urged to focus on Hernandez following the murder of Lloyd. Lloyd’s body was found June 17, 2013, in an industrial park in North Attleborough, not far from Hernandez’s spacious home.

    Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to all charges in Lloyd’s murder and is being held without bail in the Bristol County jail.

    The Globe has reported, citing law enforcement sources and court records in two states, that investigators were looking into whether Hernandez had allegedly become concerned that Lloyd had told someone about Hernandez’s role in the slayings of Abreu and Furtado.

    Investigators had tried to find out if that had prompted Hernandez to allegedly orchestrate Lloyd’s killing with two friends, who now also face murder charges.

    Michael Fee and James Sultan, Hernandez’s attorneys in the Lloyd murder case, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

    The double murder happened a week before the Patriots opened training camp for the 2012-2013 season. During that season, Hernandez played in 10 games, catching 51 passes for 483 yards and five touchdowns.

    Lloyd’s relatives have also filed a wrongful death suit against Hernandez in Bristol County, where Lloyd was killed.

    Separately, Ernest Wallace, one of Hernandez’s friends, is to be arraigned this afternoon in Bristol Superior Court in Fall River on a charge of first-degree murder for allegedly participating in the killing of Lloyd.

    Hernandez’s case has riveted the public and sports fans, presenting the spectacle of a wealthy, young professional athlete who apparently has tossed away a bright future. A month after the double slaying, Hernandez signed a new contract extension with the Patriots worth $40 million. The signing bonus was $12.5 million.

    Ben Volin of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Maria Cramer can be reached at mcramer@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @globemcramer.

    © 2014 Boston Globe Media Partners, LLC

  6. #66

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    This guy will get whacked in prison.

  7. #67

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    I wonder if he is responsible for other unsolved murders or violent crimes? He seems to have no regard whatsoever for human life.

  8. #68

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    BOSTON -- Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez is due in court Wednesday to be arraigned on murder charges alleging he ambushed and gunned down two men in 2012 after a chance encounter inside a Boston nightclub.


    AP Photo/Brian Snyder


    Hernandez is scheduled to appear Wednesday afternoon in Suffolk Superior Court in the shooting deaths of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado. A third man was wounded.
    Prosecutors have said that after Hernandez and an associate encountered the two men in a club, Hernandez followed them in an SUV, pulled up alongside them as their vehicle stopped at a red light and opened fire.

    Hernandez, 24, already faces charges in the 2013 slaying of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd. He was released by the Patriots last summer after his arrest in Lloyd's shooting death.
    Authorities have not said if there is any connection between the 2012 killings and Lloyd's slaying. Lloyd's body was found in an industrial area near Hernandez's home in North Attleborough. Lloyd was dating a sister of Hernandez's fiancee.

    Hernandez's lawyers have said he is looking forward to proving his innocence.

    http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:10994626

  9. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by IrishInNYC View Post
    Hernandez's lawyers have said he is looking forward to proving his innocence.

    Apparently, he has a lot to look forward to.

  10. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by eddhead View Post
    Apparently, he has a lot to look forward to.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Sure does.

  11. #71

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    The trial of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, who is accused of killing semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd, is set to begin Oct. 6, according to the Boston Globe.

    Prosecutors have said Hernandez killed Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancée, on June 17, 2013, and left his body less than a mile from Hernandez’s home.
    Lawyers for Hernandez wanted the murder charge tossed for a lack of evidence. His defense team also wanted surveillance video from Hernandez’s home and evidence seized from cellphones and other devices excluded from the case. The judge in the case, Susan Garsh, said she would rule on those motions at a later time.
    Hernandez is also separately charged with killing two men in South Boston in July 2012 after being indicted by a grand jury. Prosecutors in that case said Hernandez followed the two victims after one of them spilled his drink on Hernandez after bumping into him at a club.
    Hernandez, 24, pleaded not guilty to all charges and several other weapons charges.

  12. #72

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    Watch Susan Candiotti's documentary, "Downward Spiral: Inside the Case against Aaron Hernandez," at 9 p.m. ET Tuesday.

    (CNN) -- Aaron Hernandez was destined to be a football superstar and was already one of the NFL's most promising tight ends.
    But less than a year after signing a $40 million contract extension with the football powerhouse New England Patriots, he was charged with first-degree murder.
    Two hours after his arrest on June 26, 2013, the Patriots droppedhim from the team.

    Hernandez, then 23, pleaded not guilty in the slaying of Odin Lloyd and is being held in a Massachusetts jail without bail. Hernandez has also been charged in the slayings of two other men, and some of his closest associates are facing serious charges in connection with the alleged crimes.orce: Lloyd killed over trivial matter
    aon Hernandez taken to hospital
    Friends and fans alike wonder: How could the star player who had more than 900 receiving yards in 2011 now be accused of murdering three people?

    From 'golden boy' to behind bars

    Long before Hernandez made national headlines, he was a standout athlete in Bristol, Connecticut, who came from a family described as a local sports dynasty.
    "I don't think there was another family that was more familiar in Bristol," Bob Montgomery, who covers high school sports for the Bristol Press, told CNN.
    The young Hernandez was the "golden boy," playing football, basketball and running track, following in the footsteps of his uncle, older brother and father -- all well-known athletes in the community.
    Hernandez's father constantly pushed his son, requiring him to practice for hours before he could go out with friends.
    "I saw a closeness with them that I'd never seen before," Montgomery said of the relationship between Hernandez and his father.
    But his father, the man who kept the 16-year-old anchored, died from complications after a routine surgery.

    Hernandez left high school halfway through his senior year in January 2007 to join the University of Florida Gators, and trouble seemed to follow.
    In just his first semester, a police report says Hernandez got into a fight at an off-campus restaurant, sucker-punching the manager and rupturing his eardrum.
    The following fall, there was a shooting near a local club. Police reports link Hernandez and several other University of Florida football players to an argument in the parking lot.
    Hernandez was one of more than 20 people interviewed by police, and he was the only one who did not make a statement after invoking his right to counsel.
    At the time, Hernandez's mother told the Orlando Sentinel newspaper, "I know he was at the club, but he never saw any shooting."
    The case remains open, and no one has been charged.

    Hernandez was also suspended at least once for marijuana, an issue that would follow him as he entered the draft his junior year.
    Trying to put the alleged drug use behind him, Hernandez wrote a letter to the Patriots' director of personnel.
    "If you draft me as a member of the New England Patriots, I will willfully submit to a bi-weekly drug test throughout my rookie season. ... In addition, I will tie any guaranteed portion of my 2010 compensation to these drug tests and reimburse the team a pro-rata amount for any failed drug test," he wrote, according to the Boston Globe.
    Before the draft, Hernandez was expected to be a first or second round pick. He was passed over until the fourth round, when the Patriots selected him.
    By the end of the second season, he was a bona fide star, inking the five-year contract extension worth $40 million.
    One month before signing the deal, however, he was partying at a Boston club. That same night, two men from the club were found dead.

    Did spilled drink lead to slaying?

    Investigators allege Hernandez shot and killed Daniel Abreu and Safiro Furtado on July 16, 2012, because one bumped into him on a nightclub dance floor and spilled his drink.
    District Attorney Patrick Haggan described the scene in a Massachusetts courtroom in May, saying Hernandez became "angered and increasingly agitated, particularly after Mr. Abreu smiled and did not apologize."

    Hernandez's friend tried to calm him down, and the pair walked outside and eventually entered a second club across the street, the prosecutor said. Court documents identify that friend as Alexander Bradley, who would go on to accuse Hernandez of shooting him in the eye in an incident that would take place seven months later.
    After leaving the second nightclub, Hernandez and the friend returned to their SUV and pulled over on a nearby street where Hernandez removed a revolver from the engine block, Haggan said.
    Hernandez began trailing Abreu, Furtado and three of their friends in his SUV, authorities said.
    He then pulled up to the victims' car at a red light and leaned out the driver's side window with a loaded revolver, Haggan told the court.
    Hernandez allegedly said, "Yo, what's up now," followed by a racial slur, and fired at least five rounds from a .38-caliber revolver, Haggan said.
    Abreu, the driver, was shot several times and fatally hit in the chest. Furtado was sitting in the front passenger seat and suffered multiple gunshot wounds, including one to the head, Haggan said.
    Hernandez was charged in the double homicide just last month, and he pleaded not guilty. Investigators found evidence they believe links him to the 2012 slayings while investigating an entirely different case -- the slaying of Odin Lloyd.

    The killing of Odin Lloyd

    In the early hours of June 17, 2013, Lloyd was shot seven times. The semi-pro football player's body was found by a jogger the next afternoon in an industrial park in North Attleboro, Massachusetts.
    Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee, had been partying with Hernandez just before his death, his friends told CNN.

    Prosecutors say Lloyd was last seen with Hernandez and Hernandez's two associates, Carlos Ortiz and Ernest Wallace, around 2:30 a.m. in a rented silver Nissan Altima.
    Surveillance video from security cameras at an industrial park showed an Altima heading toward a secluded area at 3:22 a.m.
    At the same time, chilling text messages from Lloyd's phone were sent to his sister telling her he was with "Nfl," adding, "just so u know."
    Between 3:23 and 3:27 a.m., workers nearby reported hearing gunshots. At 3:29, a camera showed an Altima pulling into Hernandez's driveway, about a half a mile from the death scene.
    Three people got out of the car, and Lloyd was not one of them.

    Nine days later, Hernandez was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and other weapon-related charges. He has pleaded not guilty.
    Investigators believe Hernandez's simmering anger over two incidents at a nightclub and his apartment led him to allegedly kill Lloyd two nights later, CNN has learned.
    One of the incidents involved Lloyd seeing guns and ammunition stored at Hernandez' so-called flop house, his apartment in Franklin, Massachusetts. The other thing that set off Hernandez was a conversation Lloyd had with two men at a club earlier that night, June 14, 2013, a source tells CNN.

    The cumulative effect apparently reached a breaking point for reasons that most people would find inconsequential. The source would not say what that was, but compared it to something as insignificant as the spilled drink that allegedly led to the 2012 Boston double slaying.
    Lloyd's killing did not involve possible knowledge of that double slaying as investigators previously considered, the source added.
    In April, Ortiz and Wallace were also charged in Lloyd's slaying. They, too, have pleaded not guilty.

    Life in a jail cell

    Today, Hernandez is behind bars in a 7-by-10 foot cell. Sheriff Thomas Hodgson, who runs the jail where Hernandez is incarcerated, says he has talked to inmate No. 174954 at length.
    Hernandez, Hodgson says, spends his time reading the Bible and another book he suggested, "Tuesdays With Morrie."

    Hodgson has encouraged Hernandez to turn to his childhood anchor, his late father. The father-son relationship has come up in their conversations and could have played a role in his checkered past.
    "His dad clearly kept him grounded," Hodgson said. "When you lose that person and there's no one there to help you process it in a healthy way, at 16 you're going to reach out to anybody that's older than you to deal with it."

    Even behind bars, Hernandez has found trouble. He has been accused of getting into a physical altercation with another inmate and is facing charges of assault and threatening a guard's life.
    That's on top of three murder charges, the lawsuit claiming he shot his friend in the face and three civil suits from the families of his alleged victims, among other things.

    As for the Lloyd case, Hernandez's lawyers contend the circumstantial evidence is full of gaps.
    "There's certainly a lot of what I would call smoke. There's no doubt about it," defense lawyer Jamie Sultan said during a June 16 hearing. "But that's not probable cause that he committed murder. And you can't just throw a bunch of stuff against the wall and say that's good enough."
    No murder weapon has been found, and while at one point it seemed likely that Ortiz would be a key witness against Hernandez, there are now serious questions about his credibility.
    And the text Lloyd sent to his sister? The jury may never hear about it.
    "I expect the defense to say that this is hearsay," legal analyst David Frank said.
    Hernandez's lawyers and mother declined to be interviewed, but both predict he will be cleared. It's a possibility that haunts Lloyd's loved ones.
    "That's my biggest fear," Michael Branch, Lloyd's former coach and mentor, said. "All it takes is one juror."

  13. #73

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    (CNN)Former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez used to make crowds cheer as a rising NFL star on the gridiron.

    Now, both fans and foes will again be focused on Hernandez as he steps into the courtroom to go on trial on murder and weapons charges.
    Jury selection begins Friday, as attorneys begin to whittle down a pool of more than 1,100 potential jurors to the small group that will decide whether Hernandez is guilty of murdering semipro football player Odin Lloyd. That pool is about 10 times larger than usual, largely because of concerns over finding an impartial jury. Attorneys will select 18 jurors, including six alternates.

    Hernandez, 25, has pleaded not guilty. His friends Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz have also been charged with murder in Lloyd's death. They have pleaded not guilty and will be tried separately.

    So far, the state's evidence against Hernandez, partially laid out in pretrial hearings, appears to be largely circumstantial.
    A magistrate previously described it as "very strong." But it could be stronger. In the months leading up to jury selection, Hernandez's defense attorneys, who insist Hernandez will be exonerated, have been trying to chip away at the prosecution's case.



    Hernandez's legal team, led by Jamie Sultan, Michael Fee, and Charles Rankin, has won some important rulings.

    Lloyd's texts to his sister: For example, the jury won't hear about text messages between the victim, Odin Lloyd, and his younger sister, sent just minutes before Lloyd's death. The judge has blocked them.
    At about 3:20 a.m. on June 17, 2013, prosecutors say, Lloyd was in a car driven by Hernandez with Wallace and Ortiz.

    At 3:07 a.m., according to prosecutors, Lloyd texted his sister Shaquilla Thibou a question: "U saw who I'm with(?)" Her phone was off, which delayed her response. At 3:22 a.m., Lloyd texted, "Nfl." A minute later, at 3:23 a.m. he sent his last text, "just so u know."

    Minutes later, witnesses heard shots fired at an industrial park about a mile from Hernandez's home, they told prosecutors.

    But Superior Court Judge Susan Garsh ruled there is not enough proof the text message meant Lloyd feared for his life, legally called "a dying declaration."
    The defense has argued the messages are innocuous, suggesting Lloyd could have been bragging about being with Hernandez. Some legal experts are surprised those texts were ruled inadmissible.

    "They appear relevant," said University of New Hampshire law professor Michael McCann. "They signal what the victim was thinking before he was killed and they arguably refer to the defendant as well," he added.
    If they had been admitted, McCann said, the defense and prosecution could have debated the meaning and let the jurors weigh the arguments

    Hernandez's texts to Lloyd: Jurors will, however, be able to see texts between Hernandez and Lloyd from earlier that night when the football player invited Lloyd to hang out.

    The weapon: It's never been found. That could be a problem for jurors. In court papers, prosecutors have suggested the gun may have been thrown away by Hernandez's fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins. She's on the prosecution witness list but has denied any knowledge of the weapon, believed to be a .45-caliber handgun, according to documents. She has been accused of lying to a grand jury and has pleaded not guilty to the perjury charge.

    The surveillance video: Prosecutors will be able to show Hernandez on his home surveillance video system walking toward his basement door holding what prosecutors say appears to be a gun. The authorities say the video was recorded shortly after he returned home the night in question, minutes after witnesses reported hearing gunshots in the industrial park.

    Investigators say a vehicle that appears to match the description of a car rented by Hernandez is seen on security cameras driving through the industrial park, allegedly with Hernandez, Wallace, Ortiz, and Lloyd inside.
    But it's unclear who fired the fatal shots. At this point, prosecutors have not publicly presented their theory. Was it Hernandez, Wallace or Ortiz, or some combination?

    Prosecutors have said they plan to argue Lloyd's murder was a "joint venture." Under Massachusetts state law, prosecutors don't necessarily have to prove who pulled the trigger. Under joint venture, says McMann, "anyone who actively participates in the murder can be held guilty for murder." The law will be explained to jurors, but will the state present enough evidence to prove it?
    As late as November, with the trial around the corner, the state was still looking for more proof. In a surprising move, investigators got a warrant to search Hernandez's home again, more than a year after their last entry.

    In court papers, detectives said they were looking for three pairs of sneakers photographed in a closet during their original 2013 search. They said the sneakers appear to match shoe prints found at the scene where Lloyd was fatally shot. But detectives left empty-handed. The shoes were not there. One of the unanswered questions: Why weren't the shoes seized during the original search?

    Other accusations: Prosecutors also won't be able to bring up other accusations against Hernandez. For example, if former Hernandez friend Alexander Bradley testifies, he won't be able to mention he's suing Hernandez for allegedly shooting him in the right eye a few months before Lloyd's death. The shooting is inadmissible, Garsh ruled. Nor will the jury be able to hear that Hernandez has been indicted for shooting to death two men in Boston after leaving a nightclub in 2012. He's pleaded not guilty in that case, too, and the trial is pending.

    Garsh ruled that the Bradley shooting in Florida and the Boston double slaying are far too prejudicial and that Lloyd's case must stand on its own.

    Prosecutors have permission from the judge to take jurors to see Hernandez's home, as well as the shooting site. They will also be shown the location of some cell phone towers. Prosecutors suggest cell tower "pings" could connect Hernandez to the scene of Lloyd's death. Inside Hernandez's home, jurors will see the layout and its multicamera video security system. Garsh ruled that a trophy case and Patriots jersey inside the home will remain in view. The prosecution had requested the memorabilia be covered up or removed so jurors couldn't be swayed by Hernandez's celebrity.

    But first, a jury must be chosen. How hard will it be to find 18 people, including alternates, who can put aside whatever opinions they might have and view the evidence with open minds?

    With Hernandez and his family watching, as well as the family and friends of victim Odin Lloyd, we're about to find out.

  14. #74

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    Aaron Hernandez maintains his swagger in court

    (CNN) Aaron Hernandez is known for his swagger. Should he act any differently when he's on trial for murder?
    When the once rising star for the New England Patriots walks into court each day with what appears to be an air of confidence -- or is it bravado? -- he enters from a connecting holding room. Some court security officers who escort him are as tall and muscular as he is. Besides that certain bounce to his step, there's usually a smile.

    It hasn't been there as often in the last couple of weeks when state witnesses have included his fiancée Shayanna Jenkins and his former boss, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who testified Hernandez would usually greet him with a kiss and a hug.

    Always impeccably dressed in suit and tie brought in by his defense team, Hernandez quickly scans the courtroom, usually starting with the rows of seats directly behind him. The front row is reserved for his family. Some days, none of his relatives is there. But when his mother, fiancée, brother and other friends attend, he winks, nods, smiles, jokes, laughs, flirts with his fiancée and mouths greetings to them including "'thanks for coming' and 'I love you.'"
    Twice, he nodded his head and smiled at me. It's not unusual for his lawyers to slap him on his back and huddle before court begins, appearing at ease. They've been representing him since June 2013.
    There was an unfortunate moment. His mother once asked permission from a court officer to touch her son once the jury left the room. Given an OK, she reached over the bar to him, took one of his hands in hers and kissed it. Rules forbid contact. It did not go unnoticed by the family of victim Odin Lloyd.

    Hernandez does not avoid looking in their direction. He glances at Lloyd's relatives. Lloyd's mother Ursula Ward, who is in court daily, appears to look right back at Hernandez without expression from her usual seat on the end of a row.

    When one witness, a high school friend, testifies that Hernandez once allegedly talked about carrying a gun, Hernandez appears to glare at him.
    When his fiancée takes the stand and testifies Hernandez told her to ditch a box from their basement the day after Lloyd's slaying, his eyes are glued on her. She barely glances his way but does appear to say something as she passes the defense table on the way out.

    When Kraft is asked to officially point out Hernandez in court and describe what he was wearing, I watch Hernandez look down at his shirt and tie as Kraft detailed his outfit.
    When the team owner leaves the stand -- the same man who signed him to a $40 million bonus in 2012 -- Hernandez turns and watches him walk out of the courtroom.
    Would it be the last time he'd see him in person?

    On the last day of testimony when his defense rests its case, he smiles at relatives. But as he walks out the door this time, he doesn't look back.

  15. #75

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    Aaron Hernandez Found Guilty of First-Degree Murder

    By VICTOR MATHERAPRIL 15, 2015






    A jury in Fall River, Mass., found Aaron Hernandez guilty of first-degree murder on Wednesday after seven days of deliberation.

    The crime carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Mr. Hernandez, who was handcuffed immediately after the verdict, was to be formally sentenced later Wednesday.
    Mr. Hernandez’s mother, Terri, and his fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins, embraced and cried at the announcement. Ursula Ward, the mother of the victim, Odin Lloyd, also wept.
    The jurors were polled after the verdict and all agreed with the first-degree murder conviction. Mr. Hernandez was also found guilty of firearms charges.

    Mr. Hernandez, 25, a former star New England Patriots tight end, was charged with murder in the killing of Mr. Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Ms. Jenkins. Mr. Lloyd, a 27-year-old semiprofessional football player, was found shot six times in a pit near Mr. Hernandez’s home in North Attleboro, Mass., in June 2013.

    Prosecutors said that Mr. Hernandez’s motive was that Mr. Lloyd spoke at a Boston bar with people Mr. Hernandez did not like.
    The prosecution took more than two months and called more than 100 witnesses. Prosecutors painstakingly tried to build a case with pieces of evidence as tiny as a wad of gum on a shell casing found in a car rented by Mr. Hernandez. Also under scrutiny were Mr. Hernandez’s Size 13 Air Jordans, which may or may not have matched footprints found at the scene of the crime.

    Their case was largely circumstantial. No murder weapon was located, and no independent witness to the shooting came forward.
    The defense’s case lasted just a day and included only three witnesses.

    In closing arguments, the defense lawyer James Sultan acknowledged for the first time that Mr. Hernandez was at the scene of the killing. The defense raised the possibility that two other men, who are charged separately for the crime, committed it while high on PCP.

    Defense lawyers noted that Mr. Hernandez had signed a $40 million contract extension, so had little motive to be involved in a murder. They also accused the police of conducting a sloppy investigation.
    A key witness was Ms. Jenkins, Mr. Hernandez’s fiancée, who received immunity in exchange for her testimony.

    She testified that late on the night that Mr. Lloyd’s body was found, but before she knew about his death, Mr. Hernandez called her from the police station and asked her to give some money to Ernest Wallace, one of the other men eventually charged in the killing.

    The most discussed part of her testimony was when she spoke of a mysterious box that she said Mr. Hernandez instructed her to remove from their house and discard the day after Mr. Lloyd was found.
    On March 30, she said that she disposed of the box after driving to a Dumpster, but did not recall where that was. She also claimed Mr. Hernandez did not tell her what was in the box, nor did she look inside.

    The prosecution also called Robert K. Kraft, the owner of the Patriots. He was questioned about a conversation he had with Mr. Hernandez shortly after the killing and recounted that Mr. Hernandez had looked him in the eye and said he was innocent.

    Mr. Hernandez was released by the Patriots after he was arrested.

    He could still face a trial on charges of fatally shooting two men outside a nightclub in 2012.

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