Last week, a grand jury investigating the murder of Odin Lloyd indicted Shayanna Jenkins, the fiancee of former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, for perjury.
This week, her lawyer claimed that prosecutors are being unfairly abusive in their pursuit of Jenkins.
“I believe they are just simply trying to add pressure,” Bassil said. “They are trying to pressure her, but perhaps they are also trying to pressure [Hernandez] through her.”
The perjury charge strongly suggested that Jenkins had testified before the grand jury, which typically operates in secrecy. Bassil confirmed that Jenkins testified before the grand jury for two days.
“There is a famous saying, a grand jury will indict a ham sandwich,” Bassil said. “I look forward to challenging this in court. I really do. If a grand jury is supposed to protect citizens from overreaching prosecutors, then there is a lot of work to be done here.”
Bassil may indeed be right. With Carlos Ortiz changing his story about whether only Hernandez or both Hernandez and Ernest Wallace exited the car just before Lloyd was shot, the prosecution may fear a jury will conclude that reasonable doubt exists. Putting pressure on Jenkins, and in turn on Hernandez, becomes an obvious strategy for shoring up a murder case that ultimately could be hard to prove, if Ortiz will be the star witness.
Besides, perjury cases are tough to prove. At trial, the prosecution will have to show — beyond a reasonable doubt — that Jenkins knowingly made a false statement to the grand jury.
And so the question becomes whether Jenkins and Hernandez will be unmoved by these developments, or whether the pressure applied to Jenkins will prompt her, or Hernandez, to crack.
If Hernandez did indeed kill Lloyd, some would say he should admit it, if that will get the charges dropped against the mother of his young child. Then again, folks who have killed people don’t necessarily approach such dilemmas with logic, reason, and/or a concern for anyone other than themselves.