Hernandez due in court today for probable cause hearing

Reuters

Last month, prosecutors sought a one-month delay of the probable cause hearing in the murder case against Aaron Hernandez.  Today, their time is up.

As explained by the Fall River (Mass.) Herald News, the probable cause hearing remains set for today.  It’s a threshold test of the evidence against Hernandez; if probable cause exists to believe he killed Odin Lloyd, Hernandez will stand trial at a later date.  If a judge determines probable cause does not exist, the charges will be dropped.

From a strategic standpoint, the probable cause hearing gives Hernandez’s lawyers an advance crack at poking holes in the evidence, with the goal of creating reasonable doubt at trial.  It’s highly unlikely that a judge would find no probable cause exists to believe Hernandez killed Lloyd, given the evidence as previously outlined by prosecutors at Hernandez’s bail hearing.

The delay in the probable cause hearing likely arose from the anticipation that Hernandez will be indicted on the charges by a grand jury, which applies the same “probable cause” standard.  But Hernandez has not yet been indicted, and Hernandez’s lawyers strenuously objected to the delay when it was requested last month.

They’ll object even more strenuously to another attempt to run out the clock while the grand jury secretly hears evidence from the prosecution — with no opportunity to challenge the evidence for the defense.

Don’t be shocked, then, if the long-awaited indictment of Hernandez comes today, before the hearing is scheduled to begin.

22 responses to “Hernandez due in court today for probable cause hearing

  1. The Court already found there was enough circumstantial evidence to hold Hernandez without bail. If a judge will do that, they certainly will also rule the case warrants proceeding to trial.

  2. If they’re confident the grand jury will indict, why didn’t they just wait for that before making a move? Something tells me they were hoping it would happen more than expecting it, and that the fact they haven’t found the gun is a bigger issue to their case than many would care to admit.

  3. “But Hernandez has not yet been indicted”. Not enough evidence yet to secure an indictment, but he can be held without bail? The constitution really doesn’t mean much in the New England area.

  4. Yep. You can kill anyone you like as long as you hide the murder weapon. Slaughter them left and right. Just make sure you melt down the gun and you’ll get off. Dozens … hundreds … no other evidence matters. Yep. That’s just how it works.

  5. touchdownroddywhite says:

    If they’re confident the grand jury will indict, why didn’t they just wait for that before making a move?
    __________________

    This is being done at the request of the defense team. Until the indictment is issued and Hernandez formally charged with murder, conspiracy or whatever the prosecutor doesn’t have to release their evidence to the defense team.

    If they can get the judge to charge him today then the prosecutors office has to release their accumulated evidence to the defense team and they can go to work tearing it apart to find weak spots that can be exploited.

  6. Prosecution doesn’t need to reveal anything that the defense doesn’t already know. The evidence presented at the bail hearing by itself is more than enough to meet the “probable cause” standard.

  7. Hernandez is accused of killing 3 drug dealing gang members. Sounds like he’s doing a better job at cleaning up the streets than the cops and courts are.

  8. I actually got to be a part of the grand jury here in Florida once.

    The prosecutor laid out the evidence, we heard from the cops to coroners to doctors, and everyone involved. We got to ask what ever questions we wanted to, and all of them were answered.

    When the DA left the room so we could deliberate, it took the 24 of us a grand total of 5 minutes to discuss the charges before inditing the guy.

    Hearing ONLY what we have heard to this point, I would be beyond stunned if the grand jury didn’t indite Hernandez. It is not even reasonable doubt, it is “COULD he have done it”.

  9. sillec28 says:

    Prosecution doesn’t need to reveal anything that the defense doesn’t already know. The evidence presented at the bail hearing by itself is more than enough to meet the “probable cause” standard.
    _____________________

    This isn’t about charging Hernandez from the prosecutor’s side. The point is that once Hernandez is formally charged the prosecutor’s office is required by law to turn over copies of all their records relating to the case to the defense lawyers.

    They are not required to do so at this point. They can use whatever they want to out of their evidence to get Hernandez indicted and can cherry pick anything they want to do so. What the defense is looking for are things not disclosed yet by the prosecutor that may favor Hernandez.

  10. As much as you dog the Redskins, and I disagree with you alot, I must tell you, you got this right! You nailed it saying.. Don’t be surprised if indictment comes today.. And it did, before the hearing! Before they had to show evidence to his lawyers. I’m not at all defending him but it seems they want him held so they can find evidence on the two other murders so incase not enough evidence to get him on this murder, they will have him for the others! Don’t know what that says on this one, quilty or not..

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