Nearly one year to the day after someone shot and killed Odin Lloyd, a judge set a trial date in the case against Lloyd’s accused killer.
Buried at the bottom of an Associated Press story regarding Monday’s hearing in the Aaron Hernandez case comes perhaps the biggest, and most awaited, news of all: The trial will start October 6.
The trial date is tentative, as all trial dates are. But in a case where there hadn’t even been a tentative trial date in the months since Hernandez was first arrested, having a tentative trial date represents real progress.
Monday’s hearing also included an attack by Hernandez’s lawyers on the quality of the evidence against him in the Lloyd murder, through a formal motion to dismiss the charges.
“You can’t throw a bunch of stuff at the wall. That’s not probable cause,” attorney James Sultan said in court.
Sultan conceded that the prosecution has sufficient evidence to prove that Hernandez was with Lloyd the night Lloyd was killed, but that there’s no evidence beyond that to prove Hernandez killed Lloyd.
In response, the prosecution explained, among other things, that Lloyd’s body was found roughly 1,000 yards from Hernandez’s home in a town where Hernandez was the only person Lloyd knew.
The judge didn’t rule on the motion to dismiss the case against Hernandez. It would be a surprise if the case doesn’t go to trial.
Hernandez also on Monday pleaded not guilty to charges that he attacked a handcuffed inmate earlier this year and that he threatened to kill a guard. No trial date has been set in that case, or in the case claiming Hernandez killed Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in July 2012.