With jury selection in the first Aaron Hernandez murder trial less than a month away, efforts will be made to determine the evidence that will, and that won’t, be introduced against Hernandez in connection with the claim that he shot and killed Odin Lloyd in June 2013.
Predictably, Hernandez has made a request to exclude evidence of other shootings of which he’s accused.
Via the Boston Globe, Hernandez has asked that Judge E. Susan Garsh prohibit evidence regarding the allegation that Hernandez shot and killed Daniel Abreu and Safiro Furtado in July 2012, along with evidence that Hernandez allegedly shot and wounded Alexander Bradley in February 2013.
Typically, evidence of other misconduct cannot be introduced against a criminal defendant, subject to certain specific exceptions. As to the Abreu and Furtado murders, it’s possible that the prosecution will argue that evidence linking Hernandez to those shootings — along with proof Lloyd knew about Hernandez’s involvement — supplies a motive for killing Lloyd.
Meanwhile, the pre-trial proceedings have included the submission of potential witness lists for the trial. Appearing on the prosecution’s list of more than 300 potential witnesses are Patriots owner Robert Kraft, coach Bill Belichick, and former Patriots teammate Brandon Spikes.
It’s common for lawyers to identify far more witnesses than ever would be called to testify at trial, both to enhance flexibility when the time comes to determine the final roster of witnesses and to conceal from the opponent any clues regarding trial strategy that a more narrow and realistic list of witnesses may reveal.