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Aaron Hernandez’s gun tattoos can be used against him

The words "blood" and "sweat" are seen tattooed on the hands of former NFL player Hernandez, as he appears in court for a motion hearing in Attleborough Reuters

Already convicted of one murder occurring in June 2013, former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez faces charges of a double murder arising from a drive-by shooting in July 2012. And while the Constitution prevents Hernandez from being required to testify against himself, his body can and will be used against him.

Via Reuters, a judge has ruled that certain tattoos will be admissible at the trial arising from the killing of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado.

One tattoo shows a revolver with one empty chamber along with the words “God Forgives” written in reverse. A revolver holds six bullets; Hernandez allegedly fired five shots when killing de Abreu and Furtado.

The other tattoo consists of a semiautomatic pistol along with an empty shell casing. He has been accused of shooting Alexander Bradley, a former friend, in the face and leaving him to die.

There’s a difference between the admissibility of evidence and the weight it will be given. But by making the evidence of the tattoos admissible, Hernandez could be compelled as a practical matter to take the witness stand and explain the meaning and purpose of the tattoos. The problem with that, however, is that once he’s on the stand and subject to cross-examination, he’ll face an onslaught of tough questions from a prosecutor who could be able to poke gaping holes in the factual theory presented by Hernandez’s lawyers.

That’s why most criminal defendants don’t take the stand in their own defense. In this case, Hernandez may have boxed himself in based on tattoos possibly aimed at assuaging a guilty conscience in a very bizarre fashion.

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Witness identifies Aaron Hernandez as shooter in July 2012 double murder

Aaron Hernandez AP

It’s one thing for former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez to have committed murder in June 2013 but to never play another down in the NFL. It’s quite another for Hernandez to have killed two other people 11 months earlier — before signing a long-term contract and playing a full NFL season.

Hernandez is scheduled to stand trial in double-murder charges arising from a drive-by shooting in July 2012. Via the Associated Press, a survivor of the shooting identified Hernandez as the gunman during a pretrial hearing.

Looked like him,” Raychides Sanches testified. “Hernandez.”

The ability of an eyewitness to identify Hernandez makes the inability of authorities to make an arrest until after evidence connected to the later shooting death of Odin Lloyd pointed to Hernandez as the killer of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado somewhat unusual.

Regardless, a conviction of Hernandez, who already is serving a life sentence without parole, seems to be coming.

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Aaron Hernandez hires Casey Anthony’s lawyer

ORLANDO, FL - JULY 5:  Jose Baez, lead defense counsel for Casey Anthony, answers questions as co-counsel Cheney Mason (L) Dorothy Clay Sims looks on after his client was found not guilty in her 1st-degree murder trial at the Orange County Courthouse on July 5, 2011 in Orlando, Florida. Casey Anthony had been accused of murdering her two-year-old daughter Caylee in 2008 and was found not guilty of manslaughter in the first degree.  (Photo by Joe Burbank-Pool/Getty Images) Getty Images

Convicted murderer and former NFL tight end Aaron Hernandez still faces charges of double murder arising from an incident that occurred in July 2012. Hernandez now has hired a lawyer who secured an acquittal in a high-profile murder trial that went to verdict a year before someone shot and killed Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in Boston.

Jose Baez, who represented Casey Anthony in the case involving the killing of her young daughter, will represent Hernandez in his looming murder trial.

Via Deadspin, Baez will be joined by Harvard law professor Ronald Sullivan and Alex Spiro. Which raises an obvious question: How will Hernandez pay for his defense?

After three years and a variety of legal entanglements, Hernandez’s money is either gone or close to it. With a trio of lawyers grinding away at a double murder case that will require plenty of elbow grease (and billable hours) to conjure reasonable doubt, it won’t be cheap — unless they’re doing it for free.

Lawyers are always encouraged to do “pro bono” work, a term that sounds a lot fancier than “not getting paid for my skills, experience, and effort.” Pro bono work becomes a lot more appealing when the free work also brings about free publicity, which is precisely what will happen for Baez, Sullivan, and Spiro.

The double-murder case is irrelevant to Hernandez unless and until he can somehow overturn his conviction for the June 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd and somehow win a second trial. So Baez, who pulled a rabbit out of the proverbial hat in 2011 for Casey Anthony, will now be called upon to produce a warren of them for Aaron Hernandez.

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Aaron Hernandez settles one of his various legal entanglements

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Former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez already is serving a life sentence for killing Odin Lloyd in 2013, and Hernandez is awaiting trial on charges that he killed two other people in 2012. The good news for Hernandez (if there’s any way that’s possible) is that he has one less item to worry about on his personal legal docket.

Per multiple reports, Hernandez has settled a lawsuit from Alexander Bradley, a former friend who claims Hernandez shot Bradley in the face and left him to die. The complaint was filed only days before the shooting death of Lloyd.

The case was due to go to trial next month in Florida. Via the Hartford Courant, documents filed in court did not specify the terms of the agreement.

It’s unclear how much (if any) Hernandez willpay Bradley, especially since Hernandez also is facing wrongful-death lawsuits from his actual/alleged murder victims. It’s also unclear whether and to what extent the settlement will become a factor in the pending double-murder trial, given that Bradley is a key witness in the case against Hernandez.

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Shank found in Aaron Hernandez’s cell

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Former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez has been in jail for more than two years. Serving a life sentence for murder while facing trial on double-murder charges, Hernandez now faces additional problems.

According to WHDH.com, prison officials found a shank in Hernandez’s cell. He has been moved into a segregated unit of the facility.

The homemade knife was discovered on Thursday at the Massachusetts maximum-security facility.

It’s not Hernandez’s first issue while behind bars. Earlier this year, he was accused of serving as a lookout while another inmate went into a cell for the purposes of fighting. In 2014, Hernandez allegedly engaged in an altercation with another inmate.

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Alexander Bradley gets immunity in Hernandez double-murder case

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Former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez already has been convicted of murder despite the absence of eyewitness testimony. In a separate double-murder case pending against Hernandez, the prosecution has an eyewitness.

And the eyewitness now has immunity.

Via the Boston Globe, Alexander Bradley will be able to testify in the case arising from the death of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado without fear of prosecution. It’s believed that Bradley will tell jurors that he witnessed the drive-by shooting, as the passenger in Hernandez’s vehicle.

Bradley claims that, several months later, Hernandez shot Bradley in the face and left him to die. A lawsuit was filed against Hernandez in Florida days before Hernandez shot and killed Odin Lloyd.

Bradley undoubtedly will face a withering cross-examination, with Hernandez’s lawyers suggesting that Bradley is telling the jury what the prosecutors want to hear in exchange for Bradley avoiding any criminal responsibility. Hernandez’s lawyers may even suggest (perhaps during closing argument) that Bradley was the real killer.

Regardless, if the jury accepts what Bradley has to say, it will be very difficult for Hernandez to avoid another life sentence.

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Hernandez jury tipster will be questioned

Aaron Hernandez AP

The anonymous tipster who contends that a juror in the Aaron Hernandez murder case concealed knowledge of the separate murder charges pending against Hernandez will tell her story under oath next month.

Via the Boston Herald, the tipster known only as “Katy” will testify in a September 2 hearing that will be closed to the public.

Judge E. Susan Garsh has ordered the testimony despite the fact that “Katy” has maintained a “long-term, sexually explicit relationship” with Hernandez. Judge Garsh also has said that, if the information regarding potential juror misconduct requires a formal evidentiary hearing, it will happen in an open proceeding.

“Katy” may not be thrilled about these developments. Hernandez’s lawyer, James Sultan, has said that “Katy” has been reluctant to cooperate, and that she has refused to provide a written affidavit.

If “Katy” fails to show up for court or refuses to testify, should could end up having a similar living arrangement to Hernandez.

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Jury tipster had “sexually explicit relationship” with Hernandez

Hernandez Getty Images

If you thought that the situation involving former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez couldn’t get any more bizarre, you thought wrong.

Via the Boston Herald, the anonymous tipster who contacted Hernandez lawyer James Sultan had  been involved in a “sexually explicit relationship” with Hernandez, “prior to and during the trial.”

The tipster, identified in court papers as only as “Katy,” told Sultan that a juror was “untruthful” during jury selection regarding knowledge of separate murder charges pending against Hernandez.

Sultan wants to question the tipster under oath. Prosecutors oppose the effort, claiming that “Katy” had ulterior motives to make an “implausible” allegation.

If “Katy” isn’t Hernandez’s fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins, the development is awkward, to say the least. It also will invite curiosity regarding the visitation rules at the jail where Hernandez was held before and during trial.

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Hernandez lawyer seeks permission to question tipster on juror misconduct

Aaron Hernandez AP

The first Aaron Hernandez trial ended in a conviction. But that still may not be the end of it.

Via the Associated Press, lawyer James Sultan now knows the name of a tipster who claims that one of the jurors in the Odin Lloyd murder case participated in discussions about the other double murder case involving the former Patriots tight end.  If true, this means that the juror lied during jury selection in the case involving the murder of Odin Lloyd.

Sultan now wants to question the tipster, in order to learn more about whether the juror truly was lying during jury selection. Sultan also conceded that the tipster has had “extensive personal contact” with Hernandez.

“That contact is clearly relevant to this individual’s credibility,” Sultan said in a court filing. “Nevertheless, there is reason to believe that this individual likely possesses information relevant to whether a juror was exposed to prejudicial, extrinsic information.”

Judge E. Susan Garsh eventually will rule on whether the tipster may be interviewed, which could result in the juror being questions. Which, in theory, could result in the conviction being scrapped and a new trial being conducted.

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Aaron Hernandez prosecution racked up more than $462,000 in overtime and expenses

Hernandez AP

When it comes to sports, taxpayer dollars pay for plenty of things. When it comes to former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, nearly a half of a million dollars in public money funded the prosecution that resulted in his conviction for the murder of Odin Lloyd.

Via the Associated Press, prosecutors spent over $462,000 on overtime for state police ($360,462.30) and expenses for expert witnesses and travel ($101,834.64). That’s over and above the normal salaries paid to the many people who worked on the case — efforts that otherwise could have been devoted to other cases.

“It would be impossible to quantify man hours of prosecutors and staff,” Bristol County, Massachusetts district attorney spokesman Greg Miliote wrote in an email to the AP.

More money will be spent in connection with the appeal of Hernandez’s conviction, and even more will be spent by prosecutors in Boston in connection with the unrelated double murder charges against Hernandez arising from a drive-by shooting in July 2012.

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Hernandez judge allows juror misconduct investigation to proceed

Jurors AP

When a Judge E. Susan Garsh ruled declined earlier this week to throw out the guilty verdict against former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez in connection with the murder of Odin Lloyd, it didn’t end her work on the case. Still pending is the question of whether Judge Garsh will allow the attorneys to investigate whether a juror lied regarding knowledge of other allegations against Hernandez.

Via Jenny Wilson of the Hartford Courant, Judge Garsh has authorized Hernandez’s lawyers to subpoena Verizon for phone records that would reveal the identity of the person who provided an anonymous tip to defense lawyer James Sultan regarding the alleged juror misconduct.

The tipster told Sultan that the juror in question was present for discussions regarding the separate double-murder case pending against Hernandez, arising from an unrelated shooting in Boston nearly a year before Lloyd was killed. Evidence regarding the other case was barred from the trial regarding Lloyd’s murder.

Judge Garsh stopped short of allowing any additional efforts to investigate the situation.

“Whether the defendant can make a colorable showing sufficient to warrant a post-verdict interview of the juror may well depend on specific details yet to be proffered by the caller and the caller’s credibility, all of which cannot be determined as long as the caller remains anonymous,” Garsh said in the written ruling, via the Courant.

In English, this means that the investigation starts with finding out who made the tip to Sultan, and then learning more about the tipster’s story. Which probably is more than the tipster bargained for when calling Sultan from a blocked number.

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Alleged Hernandez accomplices moving closer to trial

Sultan Getty Images

Despite the conviction of former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez for the murder of Odin Lloyd, the process of pursuing justice for Lloyd isn’t complete. Two other man — Carlos Ortiz and Ernest Wallace — still face charges for their own roles in the killing.

Via the Fall River (Mass.) Herald News, both men are due to appear in court on Friday for hearing in connection with their eventual trials.

Per the report, Wallace’s hearing will entail a review of the status of the case. For Ortiz, the focus will be excluding from evidence incriminating statements he made to police without an attorney present.

In April, Hernandez’s lawyer, James Sultan (pictured, holding picture of Wallace), told jurors during closing arguments that Hernandez didn’t kill Lloyd but instead witnessed his murder. Which means that Hernandez contends that either Wallace or Ortiz did it.

But Hernandez surely won’t be testifying in either trial, and neither will Wallace nor Ortiz. And there’s also still no murder weapon or obvious motive. But the circumstantial evidence was sufficiently overwhelming to result in a conviction of Hernandez — and it could be enough to result in a conviction of Ortiz or Wallace or both.

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Hernandez judge prevents contact with juror who allegedly lied during jury selection

Hernandez AP

The lawyers for former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez claim that one of the jurors who convicted Hernandez for murdering Odin Lloyd lied during jury selection. The judge still presiding over the case declared that no one should try to contact the juror in question.

Via the Associated Press, the judge has prevented both sides from contacting the juror regarding the allegation that she had been present for a discussion about an unrelated double-murder charge pending against Hernandez. A tipster supposedly passed that information anonymously to Hernandez lawyer James Sultan.

It’s unclear whether a hearing will be held regarding the contention that the juror lied. If the allegation is true, a new trial could be ordered.

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Daniel Tosh wears Aaron Hernandez jersey at Boston show

Tosh Getty Images

Comedian Daniel Tosh, Dolphins fans and host of Comedy Central’s Tosh.0, performed on Friday night in Boston. And unlike most out-of-town acts that pander to the locals by talking about how the city they’re presently in is the greatest city in the history of cities, Tosh trolled the paying customers.

Via Boston.com, Tosh wore an Aaron Hernandez jersey.

The gesture came only one day after the two-year anniversary of the murder of Odin Lloyd, for which Hernandez has been convicted.

The Patriots provided refunds for Hernandez jerseys following his arrest in 2013. Obviously, not all of them were returned to the team.

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Remembering Odin Lloyd, two years after he was killed by Aaron Hernandez

Odin Lloyd AP

Two years ago Wednesday, someone killed 27-year-old Odin Lloyd. Two months ago, a jury decided that former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez committed the crime.

With attacks on the verdict pending — including a claim that a juror lied during jury selection regarding her lack of knowledge about other alleged murders committed by Hernandez — the mother of Odin Lloyd returned to the scene of the crime in an effort to set her son’s spirit free.

Via the North Attleboro Sun Chronicle, Ursula Ward gathered with family and friends to remember Lloyd and to send dozens of purple balloons into the sky.

Ward’s mother said that she wanted to “release [Odin’s] spirit from this God-forsaken place.”

“On the way in, I started thinking what was going through my baby’s mind when they brought him here?” Ward said. “What was going through my baby’s heart? Was he thinking I will never see my mother again? My baby did not deserve this.”

Lloyd was killed in the hours after the conclusion of Father’s Day. And he always said “Happy Father’s Day” to his mother on that day, because she played both roles in his life.

With the rap sheet against Hernandez constantly growing and another trial on the docket, it’s easy to forget about his victims. Odin Lloyd should still be alive today, and Hernandez rightfully will spend every day of the rest of his own life behind bars because Lloyd isn’t.

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