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.