Skip to content

Judge blocks prosecution’s attempt to get Hernandez’s jailhouse conversations

Hernandez AP

The murder case against former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez could be crumbling.

With prosecutors already deciding to punt on supposed star witness Carlos Ortiz, a judge has now blocked an attempt to obtain recordings of Hernandez’s conversations from jail.

According to the Associated Press, the judge said the prosecution didn’t make a sufficient case to obtain the communications, which allegedly contain “coded messages” regarding Lloyd’s murder.  Defense counsel call it a fishing expedition.

It’s a bit of a surprise — given the whole “anything you say can and will be used against you” thing — that Hernandez has any privacy at all regarding things he has said in jail.

Is it a fishing expedition?  Sure.  Should the prosecutors be entitled to fish if the end result is pursuing justice for Odin Lloyd?  Hell, yes.

Ultimately, Hernandez is protected by the presumption of innocence and the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.  If Hernandez has said anything in custody that helps remove the doubt, prosecutors should be entitled to use it.

But they can’t use it until they know it exists.  They should be allowed to find out whether it exists.

Permalink 49 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Aaron Hernandez case, Home, New England Patriots, Rumor Mill
49 Responses to “Judge blocks prosecution’s attempt to get Hernandez’s jailhouse conversations”
  1. chargrz says: Feb 7, 2014 4:48 PM

    He is gonna walk.

  2. erock27 says: Feb 7, 2014 4:49 PM

    I know nobody wants to hear it. But the law states. Innocent until proven guilty . Whether he did it or not .

  3. favrewillplay4ever says: Feb 7, 2014 4:50 PM

    Hate to say it but Hernandez would probably light the fire my Packers have been missing and bring back the “us against the world attitude… But, alas, Thompson would never do it.

  4. acousticphan says: Feb 7, 2014 4:50 PM

    How refreshing…another NFL athlete poised to get away with murder. Another fine day for our justice system!

  5. thegreatgabbert says: Feb 7, 2014 4:53 PM

    Ultimately the prosecution decided to base their case on a large scale blowup photograph of Aaron, shirtless, tattooed and unshaven.

    They wheeled it out in front of the jury and made their dramatic presentation.

    “Does this man not LOOK like a murderer? Would your rent your suite to him? I ask you…”.

  6. stealthjunk says: Feb 7, 2014 4:53 PM

    The real question is how did they get some of the tapes already without a court order?

  7. nflofficeadmin says: Feb 7, 2014 4:55 PM

    It may be getting time to think about dropping the charges or destroying your legal/political career.

  8. sportsnut101 says: Feb 7, 2014 4:55 PM

    My question is why do u need it. Shouldn’t u have enough evidence by now.

    This case is looking weaker by the week

  9. hjb99992013 says: Feb 7, 2014 5:01 PM

    this is the dilemma you get when the “justice” system is set up by lawyers, run by lawyers, and is all all about lawyers

  10. The League's Crusade Against The Steelers Continues says: Feb 7, 2014 5:01 PM

    The prosecution will find a way to blow this case.

  11. thegreatgabbert says: Feb 7, 2014 5:03 PM

    The decoders feel that “I’m stuck in Bristol Prison” is a straightforward enough statement, but they want to know what subversive meaning lies behind “…and time keeps dragging on.”. Or “I hear that train a’comin’ and that’s what tortures me….”.

  12. jagsandliquor says: Feb 7, 2014 5:05 PM

    This sucks for justice sake but now I wander is they can get him on gun charges. They arrested him on the premise of murder, but they should throw away the evidence that would hold him accountable for possession of illegal weapons. Like when a cop pulls you over and illegally search your car and finds marijuana. He/she can’t get you charged because they illegally searched your car.

  13. fxg0201 says: Feb 7, 2014 5:06 PM

    Just drop the case already.

  14. mlp3180 says: Feb 7, 2014 5:08 PM

    The judge also said she would be willing to have the “jailhouse recordings” re-presented to her if the prosecutors filed an affidavit, which they failed to do, marking this ruling little more than a paperwork error.

    But hey, don’t let a little thing like facts get in the way of your “report”

  15. donnymacjack says: Feb 7, 2014 5:08 PM

    Regardless of my personal feelings about Hernandez, a question for you Mike…

    Is there a legal distinction between what he says while in custody to his attorneys VS. what he says to a visitor, family member, etc?

    I know there is a history and precedent when an accused in custody talks to another person in custody but usually that involves the 2nd person testifying against the accused.

    Based on your background and knowledge maybe you could shed some light on this for us. I think it’s an interesting point of discussion.

  16. andrejohnsonforpresident says: Feb 7, 2014 5:14 PM

    I said he was gonna walk from the start. Pats resign him 2015/2016 season.

  17. bigdaddy44 says: Feb 7, 2014 5:15 PM

    Please don’t think Hernandez is getting preferential treatment here because of who he is. Most people in NE and also an overwhelming amount of Patriot fans believe he is guilty and want to see justice served. This is more an indictment of an extremely liberal court system in an extremely liberal state protecting the criminals instead of protecting the public.
    SOP in Mass., but people across the whole spectrum of views are seeing that this whole case stinks to high heaven. No one in their right mind wants another, O.J. type acquittal, especially for someone as dangerous to society as Hernandez is.

  18. bgdabengal says: Feb 7, 2014 5:16 PM

    WHO DEY!!!

  19. pillowporkers says: Feb 7, 2014 5:31 PM

    At least get this guy on the gun charges and the double homicide because he’s going to walk for Odin Lloyd.

  20. nflofficeadmin says: Feb 7, 2014 5:33 PM

    Is it okay to get the free hernandez hats back out…

  21. wholelottaawesome says: Feb 7, 2014 5:34 PM

    I’m still hoping he’ll just admit to it and save us all some time and money.

    Come on Hernandez, show you have honor and admit to killing the drug dealer you shot because he talked about the other people he watched you shoot.

    You will feel better afterwards.

    10 to 1 his girlfriend writes a book.

  22. onbucky96 says: Feb 7, 2014 5:39 PM

    Don’t forget you innocent until proven guilty tools, he destroyed evidence. Remember the cell phone he destroyed. I’m sure his cellular contract was up and he just wanted a new phone.

  23. rhinojr says: Feb 7, 2014 5:45 PM

    So why did no one just sit next to him when he was talking to these people? If it’s not his attorney talking to him why is he is free to have conversations with anyone without someone listening.

    He is gonna walk

  24. intelligent cement says: Feb 7, 2014 5:50 PM

    It wouldn’t surprise me to see this idiot get his by some other ‘banger once he does see daylight.

  25. cwwgk says: Feb 7, 2014 5:59 PM

    I’m curious to learn what the Massachusetts law requires of the prosecution. The issue really isn’t the presumption of innocence.

    Rather, the fourth amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures is what governs. But that protection wouldn’t seem to insulate Hernandez, or any inmate. There is no reasonable expectation of privacy in prison. Unless Hernandez is communicating with his lawyers, he’s got no protection from his conversations being recorded.

    Massachusetts state law much extend greater rights than the federal government.

  26. jetsjetsjetsnow says: Feb 7, 2014 6:02 PM

    Sounds like they are reaching to me….

    They have no case….

    Now once he gets released as long as he doesn’t do an O.J. (& kidnaps someone at gun point) after winning his lottery get out of jail free card of the century he’d have escaped from the hairs on his chinny chin chin…..

  27. posmoo says: Feb 7, 2014 6:08 PM

    You have absolutely zero expectations of privacy on a jailhouse phone when you are not speaking with your lawyer. There’s not even a balance to strike. It’s as if the judge said you can’t use what Hernandez screamed at the top of his lungs in the middle of times square against him. I wonder if that alone won’t be grounds for a mistrial.

  28. drgreenstreak says: Feb 7, 2014 6:19 PM

    stealthjunk says:

    “The real question is how did they get some of the tapes already without a court order?”
    ——————————————–
    The question is not whether they have them or have heard them. It is whether they can be entered into evidence for a jury to hear.

  29. mdpgc says: Feb 7, 2014 6:39 PM

    I told ya’ll in the last post about the Hernandez case that the prosecution’s case was crumbling. See even though they say in this country that you are innocent until proven guilty, you really are guilty until you prove yourself innocent!

    See you back in the NFL Aaron Hernandez!

  30. orivar says: Feb 7, 2014 6:41 PM

    And once again the ‘justice system’ fumbles another case jumping for glory because they have a high profile suspect.

    “If I can convict Aaron Hernandez, that will do WONDERS for my resume!” thought the D.A.

    Now because of that he will most likely walk and nobody will really know what happened that night besides the fact that one guy died.

    The double homicide case is even worse as it didn’t have any steam in it to begin, before the man who talked about getting shot said he was shot at an angle that takes awesome flexibility, aim and skill (out rear window by the guy that was driving), which was BEFORE he was shot again at a club during a altercation to which he responded back with shooting up the club from the outside as they wouldn’t let him back in. Yeah, a guy like that is very credible!

    Anyways I don’t feel anything on this as I’m not sure if he’s guilty of murder. Sure he’s most likely guilty of something but since they seemingly have nothing and fumbled with what they did have, who knows?!

  31. orivar says: Feb 7, 2014 6:45 PM

    “This is more an indictment of an extremely liberal court system in an extremely liberal state protecting the criminals instead of protecting the public.”

    Not even close. I think it’s more of the fact that the prosecution over charged (which happens a lot by the way) and since nothing has gone their way they’re now basically ‘reaching’. In other words borderline making things up to try and find something which didn’t convince the judge so he denied them. If they actually had something the judge would of gave the sign without an issue.

  32. rolltide510 says: Feb 7, 2014 6:48 PM

    If the prosecution is relying on things he said once in jail to justify having put him in jail in the first place, I’d say they don’t have much of a case.

  33. heathn09 says: Feb 7, 2014 6:48 PM

    Bec

  34. heathn09 says: Feb 7, 2014 6:50 PM

    Because that would make to much sense. Let’s not examine any evidence where he might admit that he did it. Let’s make it a trial where if his lawyers find loopholes he can get away with it

  35. jprcox says: Feb 7, 2014 7:05 PM

    Am I the only one that finds it amazing in this day and age of high-tech forensics that prosecutors can’t find a single piece of non-circumstantial evidence?

    I think the biggest issue is that police know someone in that car killed Lloyd, but they can’t prove one specific person did it…and you can’t charge all 3 with the same crime.

  36. joe93955 says: Feb 7, 2014 7:11 PM

    Court is not about whether you are guilty or innocence it’s about what you can prove.

  37. blackbug99 says: Feb 7, 2014 7:15 PM

    His life is over as he knew it…..monies gone, lifestyle gone. If not convicted he’ll catch his sooner or later on the streets.

  38. edavidberg says: Feb 7, 2014 7:26 PM

    You don’t really need a subpoena for those tapes anyway.

    The prosecution has the circumstantial evidence they need to nail Hernandez. They likely don’t need to show he pulled the trigger to lock him up for the vast majority of his life. They have motive and tons of circumstantial evidence to place him at the scene with a gun.

    Not that the case can’t be lost but it is a pretty good bet the State will win if they know what they’re doing.

  39. promickey says: Feb 7, 2014 7:45 PM

    Obviously the Judge decided that the coded messages were not reliable. The Judge listened to the alleged evidence and deemed it was not enough. So why have a jury use the imagination of the Prosecutor?

  40. scw1993 says: Feb 7, 2014 7:53 PM

    Allegedly, three men, and the victim were in that car. Which guy sat in the car? Which guy peed? Which one shot the victim? What are they going to do…have three simultaneous murder trials, and eeny, meeny, miney…who shot the vic? Doubt abounds, but whether it’s reasonable doubt, nobody can say except a jury.

  41. lostsok says: Feb 7, 2014 7:55 PM

    “This is more an indictment of an extremely liberal court system in an extremely liberal state protecting the criminals instead of protecting the public.”

    Wow. At a point when the loudest, dumbest percentage of Americans are more worried about the rights of gun owners than safety in schools…someone has the stones to blame a double homicide on liberals!

    This might be the ultimate example of a staggering disconnect from reality.

  42. stealthjunk says: Feb 7, 2014 8:07 PM

    drgreenstreak says:
    Feb 7, 2014 6:19 PM
    The question is not whether they have them or have heard them. It is whether they can be entered into evidence for a jury to hear.

    =============

    Wrong. Read the linked article. The hearing was held because prosecutors requested that that the judge order the Bristol County sheriff to release the recordings to the prosecution. They do NOT have them all. Hence the fight over whether they’re conducting a “fishing expedition.” The admissibility issue will not come up until much closer to trial.

  43. scarletmacaw says: Feb 7, 2014 9:18 PM

    Not that I have any doubt that he’s guilty, but if the prosecution doesn’t have enough evidence by now then they have a huge problem. By my calculation, he has been in prison for 7 months. He has the “right to a speedy and public trial.” How long can a person accused of a crime be held without bail? Why aren’t his lawyers screaming about this?

  44. thedarkness1970 says: Feb 8, 2014 8:46 AM

    This is what happens when you use criminals for witnesses. It can all fall apart.

  45. jebdamone says: Feb 8, 2014 12:03 PM

    You don’t really need a subpoena for those tapes anyway.

    The prosecution has the circumstantial evidence they need to nail Hernandez. They likely don’t need to show he pulled the trigger to lock him up for the vast majority of his life. They have motive and tons of circumstantial evidence to place him at the scene with a gun.

    Not that the case can’t be lost but it is a pretty good bet the State will win if they know what they’re doing
    *************************************

    circumstantial evidence isn’t going to get you very far in a criminal trial. in a civil trial, sure, but the burden of proof is much higher in a criminal trial.

  46. jebdamone says: Feb 8, 2014 12:12 PM

    Please don’t think Hernandez is getting preferential treatment here because of who he is. Most people in NE and also an overwhelming amount of Patriot fans believe he is guilty and want to see justice served. This is more an indictment of an extremely liberal court system in an extremely liberal state protecting the criminals instead of protecting the public.
    SOP in Mass., but people across the whole spectrum of views are seeing that this whole case stinks to high heaven. No one in their right mind wants another, O.J. type acquittal, especially for someone as dangerous to society as Hernandez is.

    ****************************************

    no, this is about the level of evidence required to convict an individual for murder in a criminal court. when you don’t have a reliable witness or other evidence that substantiates murder BEYOND a reasonable doubt then the case of the prosecution is insufficient. that is basically %99.8 sure that he committed the murder. the burden is high because we would rather not have an innocent individual go to jail for the rest of their life because a jury was “pretty sure” they were guilty. fact is, the evidence does not lead a jury to make that decision in this case.

  47. pastabelly says: Feb 8, 2014 12:20 PM

    Hernandez will never play in the NFL again, even if not proven guilty. He has character issues and is probably a murderer, even if it can’t be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. One more thing Aaron, thanks for F’ing up our season. :(

  48. patsfan92 says: Feb 8, 2014 3:23 PM

    free hernandez!!! for tom bradys sake..

  49. bigdaddy44 says: Feb 8, 2014 7:00 PM

    Mile Florio writes:
    “Ultimately, Hernandez is protected by the presumption of innocence and the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. If Hernandez has said anything in custody that helps remove the doubt, prosecutors should be entitled to use it. But they can’t use it until they know it exists. They should be allowed to find out whether it exists.”
    The issue presented here was whether the prosection has the right to obtain and listen to Hernandez’ jailhouse conversations, other than the ones with his lawyers. These conversations are already in the possession of the state, and no court order should be needed to obtain them There is no expectation of privacy on these conversations, and the judge is obstructing the prosecution if he does not allow them to be examined. The judge’s discretion should have been only when it comes to relevancy. After hearing the recordings, if the prosecution decides they want to use any part of the conversations in the trial , then and only then should the judge be able to block their entry to the case, if he decides it is a “fishing expedition.”
    This ruling has nothing to do with an over zealous or desperate prosecution “reaching” or “overcharging” as some claim. This is strictly about whenther the prosecution has the right to examine this evidence to see if there is anything that could be possibly used in trial. As Florio points out, “They should be allowed to find out whether it exists.”
    My prior statment was “This is more an indictment of an extremely liberal court system in an extremely liberal state protecting the criminals instead of protecting the public.” That statement was pertaining to the judge’s ruling in this case, where he is obstructing the prosecution. That is just the way it is here. After over 50 years here and a career in law enforcement, there have been way too many rulings like this, that have been handed down. Handed down not only unfairly, but in many instances against the rule of law, in favor of the accused. You might get used to these things occurring, but you never get used to the injustice. Finis.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!