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Gun charges provide strong fallback in Hernandez prosecution

Aaron Hernandez AP

Constitutional protections premised on the idea that it’s better for 10 guilty men to go free than one innocent man to be imprisoned mean that Aaron Hernandez could be acquitted of murdering Odin Lloyd., if his high-priced defense lawyers can conjure “reasonable doubt” in the minds of the jurors.

In this specific case, prosecutors have another way to put Hernandez behind bars, even if a jury get Chewbacca defensed into a verdict of not guilty on the murder charge.

As explained by Ben Volin of the Boston Globe, the weapons charges against Hernandez carry a maximum sentence of 10 years for each of two counts of carrying a “large capacity firearm”; five years for one count of carrying a firearm without a license; two years for possession of a firearm without a Firearm Identification Card; and two years for possession of ammunition without a Firearm Identification Card.

Typically, state-court judges have broad discretion when determining sentences for criminal convictions, and if the judge presiding over the Hernandez trial believes that Hernandez killed Odin Lloyd (even if Hernandez is acquitted), the judge could try to stack a lengthy sentence via maximum penalties and consecutive terms.

At some point, it’ll be useful to take a look at Massachusetts law to see what Hernandez’s absolute maximum prison term could be on the weapons charges.  If his lawyers pull off an if-it-doesn’t-fit-you-must-acquit miracle as to the murder of Odin Lloyd, Hernandez could still be kept out of free society for a long time.

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42 Responses to “Gun charges provide strong fallback in Hernandez prosecution”
  1. lennydpocketqb says: Jul 7, 2013 6:32 PM

    Is this safeguarding themselves from lawyers? The police must have something huge on him that they feel they need to be put away for a long time.

  2. thetroofishere says: Jul 7, 2013 6:56 PM

    If the lawyer gets him off the murder rap in which they have the confession from Hernandez via his Twitter, Instagram and Facebook comments, a gun charge would be a piece of cake.

  3. kcroyal says: Jul 7, 2013 6:58 PM

    This is still America, no? What happened to innocent until proven guilty? The media has already decided to hang the guy for 3 killings and we haven’t really heard anything official as far as evidence is concerned. I’m not saying the guy didnt do horrible things, just that we don’t really know and that it’s not fair to want to tar and feather him without many facts. Put your pitchforks down, at least till were sure he can’t swim.

  4. butthatmakestoomuchsense says: Jul 7, 2013 6:58 PM

    Just as an FYI, Massachusetts does not mess around when it comes to guns. For example, if a person gets caught with an unregistered firearm they do a one-year mandadory sentence.

  5. commonsensedude says: Jul 7, 2013 7:07 PM

    Hernandez is probably wishing he had gotten accused of his crime in Florida. That way, he’d have a better shot at getting a dumb jury (like Casey Anthony) or an ill-prepared prosecutor (like George Zimmerman).

  6. ktrif88 says: Jul 7, 2013 7:14 PM

    Am I missing something here? As I count it this guy may have been involved in shooting six people – that we know about. Charged with the murder of Odin Lloyd, being investigated for the drive by last July that killed two people, charged with shooting a guy in the face, and invoking his right to counsel and saying nothing about shooting two people in 2007 at UF. Some might call all this red flags for character concerns – namely being a psychopath!
    Surely further investigation will yield more on the other cases (known and unknown) than gun charges.

  7. jroxx1121 says: Jul 7, 2013 7:28 PM

    Hey, ya never know, he could go free. everybody’s convicted him already and what solid proof do they have? some video placing him in the vicinity, not solid enough. no murder weapon, no blood or DNA, just heresay. i think he’s guilty but i’m not on the jury, and all it takes is 1 out of 12 for him to get off. reasonable doubt. the prosecutor better have more than just the word of some dirtbag felons.

  8. questionableprovenance says: Jul 7, 2013 7:32 PM

    Oh what tangled webs we weave…
    A total of seven years max for an unlicensed carrier of an unlicensed gun. But if, heaven forfend, the carrier and gun were both licensed, but the magazine could hold more that ten rounds, well, that gets you ten years max.

  9. blackngold4life says: Jul 7, 2013 7:32 PM

    All that based on video?? If all those guys shut up..this case really is about circumstantial evidence.. no eyewitnesses ..no murder weapon yet.. and its up to the prosecution to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that their guilty..I can easily see a hung jury if no one has already pointed any fingers

  10. chi01town says: Jul 7, 2013 7:32 PM

    Naw.. I anit hearing that and that poor guys family anit eather. Aaron
    murdered that man and he aint getting away with that sh%t. not this time. and Aaron aint got the complexion for that connection so this time the sh%t is flyin in the right direction.

  11. bennyb82 says: Jul 7, 2013 7:41 PM

    This storyline still needs a twist. Maybe his fiance set him up because she has Gronk in a keeper league?

  12. nickademas12 says: Jul 7, 2013 7:46 PM

    That guy that said they have his confession is something else they do not have any kind of confession at all or they wouldn’t be going to trial the stories keep changing first they said they have video that places him there then they said they found a sweatshirt that could place him there they have nothing in this case but circumstantial evidence and that’s not gonna work. No murder weapon no DNA no whiteness

  13. Iknoweverything says: Jul 7, 2013 7:49 PM

    Why is Peter King standing next to Hernandez?

  14. micknangold says: Jul 7, 2013 7:56 PM

    DNA evidence IS circumstantial evidence.

  15. wheezerswin says: Jul 7, 2013 8:05 PM

    Funny how gun laws didn’t prevent yet another murder.

  16. knowerofallthings says: Jul 7, 2013 8:05 PM

    He won’t be acquitted. Too much evidence on this guy, he’s going to be in jail for a long time. And at 23 years old that’s a sad waste of his life

  17. huntsey1169 says: Jul 7, 2013 8:05 PM

    Glad they did homework.nail him on anything can. Yes innocent til proven guilty. But how many shootings does his name have to be mentioned in? Started in college and now it just keeps goin. Can only get away with it for so long. He’s not smart enough to know he got break and stop. If all goes like it will. The Florida shootings(both),Boston,and this one. Thats MASS murder and attempted. Oxygen is to good for him.

  18. mrtwobit says: Jul 7, 2013 8:11 PM

    Just look at the expression on this guys face in ALL the photos. I’m not saying he’s guilty. I am saying he doesn’t care about it. It’s like he’s saying . “You people can’t do nothing to me”. This guy is truly and absolutely SCARY!

  19. ttommytom says: Jul 7, 2013 8:24 PM

    Matt Light knows something.

    Reggie Nelson knows a lot more than ‘something’.

    A whole lot of people know some things.

    The Patriots ran like mad from this guy because people like Matt Light finally whispered in their ear all the ‘rumors’ concerning Hernandez.

    People talk among themselves. They don’t run to the police nor upper management nor even their wives. But they DO talk.

    The about face by the Patriot organization is a direct result of people talking. Maybe the police, probably more like some trusted players who listened a bit…

    Hernandez is a flat out perp. The recovered guns do not lie. Stop with the until guilty crap. Those guns and ammo were recovered and he was seen with one in his hand…

  20. trevor123698 says: Jul 7, 2013 8:39 PM

    Since when is it illegal to carry and own a gun? has the 2nd amendment been repealed?

  21. pinion8ted says: Jul 7, 2013 8:58 PM

    How weak is the State’s “circumstantial” case???

    We have a dead body found, a mile from Hernandez’s home. A close acquaintance of Hernandez.

    There were gunshots heard at a specific time, near where the body was later found.

    Hernandez is on video picking up the victim, at a specific time.

    Hernandez is on video near the scene where the body was later found, just prior to those witnesses hearing those gunshots.

    The victim is on video in the car that Hernandez was driving, near the crime scene.

    Hernandez is on video leaving the scene where the victim’s body was later found, just after the time witnesses reported hearing gunshots.

    Video shows the victim was not in the car this time.

    Hernandez is on video exiting his car at his home a mile from the crime scene, moments after the gunshots were heard, carrying a gun.

    Shells casings are found at the crime scene, matching ammunition found at Hernandez’s home.

    A spent shell casing, exactly matching the spent shell casings at the crime scene, is found in a rental car that was on the video near the crime scene the night of the murder; the car was rented to Aaron Hernandez.

    Even without a murder weapon, gunshot residue, DNA (blood) evidence, or corroborating witnesses, we can place Hernandez near the scene of the crime, at the time gunshots were heard, with a gun, and with shell casings that match those found at the crime scene.

    That’s some pretty strong circumstantial evidence right there, and Aaron Hernandez is going to have to come up with a pretty good explanation for all of those facts, to get acquitted.

  22. thegonz13 says: Jul 7, 2013 9:05 PM

    Prosecutors have a Plan B in case that scumbag recants on his confession. Hey, remember they didn’t get Capone for all the murders he ordered but on tax evasion. Same principle.

    No matter which way you slice it, he’s going to be in jail for a while and no football team, regardless of the league, will want to touch him. The only team that might want to is the Boston Bandits, Odin Lloyd’s old team, but for other reasons.

  23. conormacleod says: Jul 7, 2013 10:08 PM

    Love the people stating there’s no DNA or other evidence, as if we are all privy to the discovery supplied by the prosecutors. Plus, this isn’t CSI or Law & Order. The case doesn’t have to be viewed on video and solved in one hour. He’s guilty. Plain and simple. The only question that remains is; how many murders has he been a part of?

  24. blspears says: Jul 7, 2013 10:28 PM

    I guess the constitution does not matter in the people republic of mass.

    The charges are b/s.

  25. scandiman says: Jul 7, 2013 10:28 PM

    So what is a “large capacity firearm” in New England? In New York it is like 7 rounds.

    If the left has it’s way, all constitutional protections for citizens will be removed as they see the constitution as a charter of negative liberties for the government.

  26. lawrinson20 says: Jul 7, 2013 10:29 PM

    Not sure i understand how the state could convict on ‘gun charges’ if they don’t have enough to get him on murder.

    He wasn’t ‘caught with’ any of the weapons, was he? They were found in his residence. But, none match ballistics on the round/s found in the victim? So, they don’t have the murder weapon.

    I must have missed something. At what point was it found that Hernandez was “carrying” these weapons? And, if they are unregistered, couldn’t they belong to anyone? Fingerprints would only show that he touched them, and I don’t know that anyone’s ever been prosecuted for fondling an unregistered firearm.

    Don’t get me wrong. I hope he gets nailed…. It just seems ridiculously difficult to meet the demands of the burden of proof these days. And, juries have been doing some stupid things lately.

  27. badintent says: Jul 7, 2013 10:44 PM

    So what is the difference between a FIC and a license.? And why do you need both to have a gun in your house or car ?
    And when are the police going to arrest all the Kennedys. ? They’re all crooks too.

  28. razzzmajazzz says: Jul 7, 2013 10:59 PM

    If he really is guilty of this crime and he is convicted then sentenced to prison for the rest of his life, I wonder if it will have been worth it to him. Killing a man for talking to people he doesn’t like(if what they say is true) seems like an asinine reason.

  29. chi01town says: Jul 8, 2013 12:43 AM

    Why would anybody belive Aaron didnt take that mans life. everybody knows he did and for nothing. they need to throw Aaron in jail for life so he dont hurt anyone else

  30. racerx1225 says: Jul 8, 2013 12:55 AM

    You dont get it. He may have killed Lloyd becauyse he no longer trusted him to keep quiet about killng the other 2 guys. If thats the case, he has already killed 2 people and killing again to keep himself out of jail is a no brainer to him.

  31. racerx1225 says: Jul 8, 2013 12:56 AM

    And supposedly he had shot another guy in the face as well.

  32. equestriancolt says: Jul 8, 2013 4:06 AM

    I don’t give a crap what job title you have you may not tell the people they have to have some piece of paper or plastic card giving permission to carry a gun. Everyone has the right to protect themselves Period nobody has to have anything to carry a gun in any manner Period. Whether it be concealed or not you may carry a gun any which way you please PERIOD. You people who think you have power, do not, it’s a job title not a God title. Take your over controlling power happy Nazi brown eye sucking laws and control and shove them up your derrieres and get the F out of America. Cause soon we will force you coward traitors out. As for the District Anus suckers throughout America go kill yourself your not worth the air you breathe.

  33. djstat says: Jul 8, 2013 6:47 AM

    Your only innocent until proven guilty in the eyes of the law. In the world of public opinion, you can be convicted based on circumstantial evidence at anytime (remember OJ). For the blowhole who had to make a gun law reference, perhaps of guns were not allowed to be sold in this country then Hernandez couldn’t do this. Your second amendment was drafted when forearms were musket guns jabroni.

  34. dumbhobby says: Jul 8, 2013 7:37 AM

    Money, check. Stash houses, check. Illegally held guns, check. Posse scared to talk, check. Witnesses dead, check. Sounds like a drug king to me.

  35. micknangold says: Jul 8, 2013 9:28 AM

    Seriously folks, look it up. DNA evidence is considered circumstantial. Stop watching cop shows to get your info. Also, look up what circumstantial evidence is. It’s probably not what you were thinking.

  36. ringheadcrusher says: Jul 8, 2013 9:36 AM

    Thank God Massachussetts has all those draconian gun laws that keep guns out of the hands of psychotic criminals like Aaron Hernandez. Otherwise someone could have wound up dead.

    Oh, wait a minute…

  37. jaketdogg says: Jul 8, 2013 10:09 AM

    The fact that his posse won’t say anything to police at all points to an organized crime type situation. This dude was a King, and possibly a serial killer. Unbelievable

  38. audge86 says: Jul 8, 2013 1:08 PM

    I can see him getting off on the murder charges. I think the prosecutor may be getting a bit ambitious with the first degree charge. They better have evidence which wasn’t leaked to the media.

    Cause I’m not even a lawyer and I can see multiple ways to create reasonable doubt on the first degree charge.

  39. banger60 says: Jul 8, 2013 2:29 PM

    Guilty, moving on, next pro athlete to go to jail? insert jeopardy theme!

  40. pinion8ted says: Jul 8, 2013 2:41 PM

    audge86 says: Jul 8, 2013 1:08 PM

    I can see him getting off on the murder charges. I think the prosecutor may be getting a bit ambitious with the first degree charge. They better have evidence which wasn’t leaked to the media.

    Cause I’m not even a lawyer and I can see multiple ways to create reasonable doubt on the first degree charge.
    ———————————————————
    Thank you, Perry Mason.

    Based solely on that, we will immediately drop our case against Aaron Hernandez

    Signed,
    The State of Massachussetts

  41. jimmyjames65 says: Jul 8, 2013 6:17 PM

    He’s going to the Big House for a long time. If Mass. has the death penalty, they might want to consider using it. If he played for the Texans or Cowboys, he would be dead already.

  42. teedraper says: Jul 9, 2013 1:06 AM

    “prison term could be on the weapons charges. If his lawyers pull off an if-it-doesn’t-fit-you-must-acquit miracle as to the murder of Odin Lloyd”

    He’s already guilty huh?

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