Mike Pouncey emotional talking about “brother” Aaron Hernandez

AP

Not everyone had sympathy when Aaron Hernandez’s life ended by suicide in his jail cell.

But Dolphins center Mike Pouncey has never been shy about his feelings for his friend and former college teammate, and became emotional Thursday when discussing the former Patriots tight end who was serving a life sentence for murder at the time.

“It was tough,” Pouncey said, via Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald. “Obviously, I don’t condone any of the things that he was accused of, but just to have a friend I was so close with, that I felt like was my brother and I know that he felt the same way, it’s tough. It’s tough for anyone to have a loss in their family, but that one right there hit my and my brother really hard.”

Hernandez wasn’t simply accused, he was convicted of murdering Odin Lloyd, though he had just been acquitted in a separate double-murder trial days before his death. Pouncey said the last time he talked to Hernandez, his friend was in “great spirits.”

“Just, you know, about the case that he had just won,” Pouncey said. “He was excited, ready to fight the first one again. Just a lot of different stuff. Happy for him.

“It was just tough, man. . . . We’re still shocked to this day that we’re even at this point.”

As difficult as it is for some to imagine, it’s evident that Pouncey never backed away from his friend, when many did all they could to distance themselves from Hernandez.

Lawyers urge Patriots to compensate families of Aaron Hernandez’s alleged victims

AP

Lawyers representing the families of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in a wrongful death lawsuit against the estate of Aaron Hernandez called for the New England Patriots to provide compensation to the families on Tuesday.

According to Travis Anderson of the Boston Globe, attorneys Kenneth Kolpan and William Kennedy made statements calling for the Patriots to compensate the families after a hearing in the case in Suffolk Superior Court on Tuesday.

“We would welcome the Patriots looking into that issue and doing the right thing, which is to compensate the victims,” said Kolpan, who represents the de Abreu family.

The statements by Koplan and Kennedy piggyback onto another wrongful death lawsuit against Hernandez by Ursula Ward – Odin Lloyd’s mother – whose lawyer implored the Patriots to pay $6 million owed to Hernandez to the family estate so it could be sought by the civil lawsuits.

Lawyers for Hernandez’s estate claim that Massachusetts law prohibits civil suits from seeking punitive damages against a deceased defendant.

Hernandez was found not guilty of murdering de Abreu and Furtado by a jury during a trial in April. His conviction for the murder of Lloyd was then subsequently voided due to an obscure Massachusetts law that granted “abatement ab initio” to Hernandez after he committed suicide on April 19. Since the appeals process had not concluded, the conviction for the murder of Lloyd was nullified.

Mike Pouncey remembers his friend, Aaron Hernandez

AP

Aaron Hernandez was a convicted murderer, and not a sympathetic figure. But he still left friends and family behind after his prison suicide, and they’re mourning in their own ways at the moment.

One of the first to publicly acknowledge Hernandez’s death was Dolphins center Mike Pouncey, who posted an Instagram message showing a smiling Hernandez in his Patriots uniform.

“To my friend my brother!,” Pouncey wrote. “Through thick and thin right or wrong we never left each other’s side. Today my heart hurts as I got the worse news I could have imagined. It was just a day ago we shared our last convo. I will forever miss you and love you bro. we will meet again rest easy! ❤️🙏🏽.”

While a compassionate note from someone who knew Hernandez in college, it’s also likely to be one of the few supportive messages we’ll see today, as most people will try to avoid anything resembling support for a man who was spending life in prison without parole for taking the life of Odin Lloyd.

Aaron Hernandez’s lawyers point finger at prosecution’s key witness in murder case

Reuters

Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez already has one murder conviction on his resume. A trial that could pin two more murders on Hernandez officially got underway on Wednesday.

According to Denise Lavoie of the Associated Press, lawyers representing Hernandez claimed that the prosecution’s key witness – Alexander Bradley – was the man behind the 2012 killings of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado.

Bradley has said he was with Hernandez when he allegedly shot and killed de Abreu and Furtado following a seemingly minor incident in a Boston nightclub that resulted in Hernandez’s drink being spilled. Bradley claims that Hernandez took the interaction as a sign of disrespect and later opened fired on the pair’s car when they ended up alongside each other at a stoplight later in the night.

Hernandez shot Bradley in the head seven months later, causing Bradley to lose his right eye. Hernandez was also charged with witness intimidation for the shooting of Bradley.

Another witness, Raychides Sanches, has also pointed the blame toward Hernandez.

Meanwhile, Hernandez’s representation claim that de Abreu and Bradley has a pre-existing relation acquaintance and that Bradley killed the men over a drug deal gone bad.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this did not happen over a spilled drink. This happened over a drug deal,” Hernandez lawyer Jose Baez said.

Hernandez was convicted of first-degree murder in April 2015 over the killing of Odin Lloyd.

Josh McDaniels may be called to testify in Aaron Hernandez trial

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Josh McDaniels has talked a lot about the Falcons and his own future, but he may soon have to take on a topic of life-and-death importance.

According to Bob McGovern of the Boston Herald, McDaniels could be on the witness stand during the upcoming double-murder trail of former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, according to documents from his legal team.

While asking for a delay of three months, Hernandez’s defense lawyers revealed a list of eight potential witnesses, including the Patriots offensive coordinator.

“The Commonwealth alleges the defendant sent a text message to Mr. McDaniels showing him another tattoo that he received at the same time from tattoo artist David Nelson with the letters ‘CBS/WBS/IWBTG,’” the motion reads. “According to the Commonwealth, it expects Mr. McDaniels to testify [if called] as to the meaning of those letters.”

Defense attorney Ronald Sullivan said they had not had an opportunity to interview McDaniels, since he’s presumably “unavailable to the defense investigators because he is now preparing his team to compete in the Super Bowl.”

Hernandez is already serving life without the possibility of parole for the 2013 murder of Odin L. Lloyd.

Aaron Hernandez’s gun tattoos can be used against him

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.

Witness identifies Aaron Hernandez as shooter in July 2012 double murder

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.

Aaron Hernandez hires Casey Anthony’s lawyer

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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.

Aaron Hernandez settles one of his various legal entanglements

AP

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.

Shank found in Aaron Hernandez’s cell

AP

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.

Alexander Bradley gets immunity in Hernandez double-murder case

AP

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.

Hernandez jury tipster will be questioned

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.

Jury tipster had “sexually explicit relationship” with Hernandez

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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.

Hernandez lawyer seeks permission to question tipster on juror misconduct

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.

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

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.