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Hernandez claims juror was exposed to “extraneous matters”

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The attack on the conviction of former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez includes an argument focused on whether one of the jurors broke the rules regarding what could and couldn’t be considered in the case.

According to Ted Daniel of FOX25 in Boston, Hernandez’s lawyers have filed with the trial court a motion for “post verdict inquiry respecting a juror’s exposure to extraneous matters.”

In English, it means that Hernandez’s lawyers believe that one of the jurors became aware of evidence other than the evidence properly admitted by Judge E. Susan Garsh. With Hernandez accused of two other murders and of shooting one of the witnesses who testified against him in the face (Alexander Bradley), there were plenty of “extraneous matters” for the jurors to consider.

It also means that Hernandez’s lawyers want to be able to question one or more jurors about the situation.

Given that the jury wasn’t sequestered, it would have been easy for any of them to yield to the temptation during a long trial of exploring media reports regarding other allegations against Hernandez.

The specifics of the argument aren’t known, because Hernandez’s lawyers wanted the documents to be sealed and not available to the public.

It could be a Hail Mary pass aimed at fishing for proof that someone had Googled “Aaron Hernandez” and found a laundry list of the allegatons against him. It could be that the lawyers have been tipped off by one of the other jurors. At some point, more will be known about the argument. For now, it’s way too early to know whether the conviction of Hernandez for the June 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd is in jeopardy.

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Hernandez claims he’s running out of cash

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After nearly two years of legal maneuverings in multiple criminal cases and with no income, it’s no surprise that former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez is running out of cash.

One of his lawyers, John Fitzpatrick, made that argument to a Massachusetts judge on Thursday in connection with the efforts of the mother of Odin Lloyd, Ursula Ward, to find assets that can satisfy the wrongful death lawsuit filed previously against Hernandez.

Ward’s lawyer, Douglas Sheff, hopes to obtain more information about property owned by Hernandez. Already, his $1.3 million North Attleboro home can’t be sold. Also, a court order has blocked Hernandez from selling a 2005 Hummer.

The families of Safiro Furtado and Daniel de Abreu have also filed wrongful death claims against Hernandez, as has Alexander Bradley, who claims Hernandez shot Bradley in the face in February 2013.

Still pending is an effort by Hernandez to recover the remainder of his August 2012 signing bonus — $3.25 million from the Patriots. That money presumably will go to any victims who can prove by a preponderance of the evidence that Hernandez injured or killed them. With Hernandez also convicted via proof beyond a reasonable doubt of killing Lloyd, the civil action against Hernandez arising from Lloyd’s death is a slam dunk.

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Hernandez shows up in court with ironic new tattoo

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Former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez returned to court on Thursday, for the first time since he was convicted last month for killing Odin Lloyd in June 2013. And when Hernandez returned to court, his collection of tattoos that previously crept below the cuffs of his dress shirt has now migrated above the collar.

The word “LIFETIME” can be seen on the right side of Hernandez’s neck, above the rest of a design that may have other words below it.

(You know, a word like “SENTENCE.”)

Hernandez pleaded not guilty on Thursday on charges of witness intimidation that arises from the allegation that he shot Alexander Bradley in the face and left him for dead in Florida several months after the drive-by shooting in Boston that left two men dead. Hernandez is awaiting trial in that double murder, with no date set yet.

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More trouble for Aaron Hernandez

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On Thursday, former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandnez likely will receive a date for his next murder trial. On Tuesday, Hernandez may have added yet another item to his already length legal docket.

Via CNN, Hernandez allegedly agreed to serve as the lookout for another inmate who went into another prisoner’s cell for the purposes of fighting. The incident happened at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center, where Hernandez is serving a life sentence without parole for the murder of Odin Lloyd.

Hernandez was placed into a special management section as discipline for his conduct.

As Hernandez’s overall legal problems go, this one is like a ticket for jaywalking. Still, the news suggests that there will likely be more and more news involving Hernandez throughout the rest of his life. Sentence.

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Jaguars sign fifth-round pick Rashad Greene

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The Jaguars have reached a deal with one of Florida State’s standout offensive players of recent seasons.

Wide receiver Rashad Greene, the Jaguars’ fifth-round selection, has signed his contract with Jacksonville, the club said Monday.

Greene (5-11, 182) hauled in 99 passes for 1,365 yards and seven touchdowns in 2014 for the Seminoles. He’ll vie for playing time in a young Jaguars receiving corps. Greene is one of two wide receivers selected in the 2015 draft, with Monmouth’s Neal Sterling (Round Seven) the other pass catcher taken.

Alabama tailback T.J. Yeldon (Round Two) and South Carolina offensive guard A.J. Cann (Round Three) are the Jaguars’ lone unsigned draft picks.

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Perjury charge dropped against Shayanna Jenkins

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The fiancée of Aaron Hernandez won’t be joining him in prison.

On Friday, prosecutors dropped a perjury charge against Shayanna Jenkins, via the Associated Press. The prosecutors cited her trial testimony as the reason for no longer seeking criminal penalties for grand jury testimony that they claimed was false.

Judge E. Susan Garsh approved the dismissal, which ends the prosecution of Jenkins.

Asked if she was relieved by the development, Jenkins told reporters, “You have no idea.”

Hernandez currently is serving a life sentence without parole for killing Odin Lloyd, subject to appeal of the jury verdict. Hernandez also faces a double-murder charge, which returns to court next week for a status update.

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Second Hernandez murder case returns to court on May 21

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Last month, a jury in Bristol County, Massachusetts convicted former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez of murdering Odin Lloyd.  Later this month, a court in Suffolk County, Massachusetts will move closer toward setting a trial date in connection with the allegation that Hernandez killed two men in Boston, 11 months earlier.

Per multiple reports, a status hearing will be held on May 21 for the murder case arising from the shooting deaths of Safiro Furtado and Daniel de Abreu.  Hernandez will not be present for the hearing.

Presumably, a trial date will be set at that time.  The trial at one point was scheduled to begin in late May.  An indefinite postponement occurred, in deference to the trial arising from the Lloyd murder.

Hernandez currently is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole, subject to appeal of the verdict.  In multiple respects, the second case against him is even stronger.

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Hernandez will be called to testify in Odin Lloyd civil suit

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After a jury convicted former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez of killing Odin Lloyd, Hernandez mouthed, “You’re wrong.”  He later reportedly said that the jury had gotten in wrong.

Eventually, Hernandez will get a chance to prove it.

Via the Associated Press, lawyer Doug Sheff told reporters on Wednesday that Hernandez will be called to testify in the wrongful death lawsuit filed against him by the estate of Odin Lloyd.

The Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination evaporates once the criminal process has ended.  However, the criminal process won’t completely end until Hernandez’s appeal has resolved, since he potentially could get a new trial.  It’s possible, if not likely, that the civil lawsuit will have to wait, if the goal will be to force Hernandez to tell his story.

If the goal is to secure compensation from Hernandez, it could be smarter to go forward as quickly as possible, without his testimony.  With two other alleged murder victims pursuing civil claims and Alexander Bradley suing Hernandez for shooting Bradley in the face, the money may not be there later — especially as Hernandez continues to rack up legal bills in his various prosecutions.

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Sheriff says Aaron Hernandez views jail “more like training camp”

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The man who was in charge of Aaron Hernandez’s last 18 months in jail said the former Patriots tight end should fit right in now that he’s been sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder.

He doesn’t really look at it as jail,” Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson told the Associated Press. “It’s more like training camp.”

Hodgson described Hernandez as a prisoner who got by on his charm, though one who reacted poorly to perceived “disrespect” (which might explain why he was convicted of killing Odin Lloyd).

Hodgson said not even the guilty verdict changed Hernandez’s demeanor, recalling him saying: “I’ll miss you guys, but they got it wrong. . . .

“He didn’t really have much of a change in his demeanor. He pretty much still had a swagger in his step.”

Hodgson also said Hernandez tried to trade on his charisma and status as a former football player to his advantage.

“He would make every effort to get extra sandwiches,” Hodgson said. “He would just try to convince the officers to give him more than what they otherwise could get.”

While Hodgson said Hernandez was generally polite, he did get into a fight with another inmate, and was “accused of threatening to kill a prison guard and his family.”

It’s almost like he’s a bad guy, or something.

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Reese admits Patriots knew Hernandez had issues

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So what did the Patriots know about Aaron Hernandez when making him a fourth-round pick in 2010?  According to former Patriots employee Floyd Reese, plenty.

Reese, who began hosting a radio show this week in Nashville, said during an interview of Greg Bedard of that the Patriots were aware that Hernandez had issues at the University of Florida.

“When he was at Florida, he had some issues there too, there were some things that went on,” Reese said, via Bedard.  “We all knew about it.  It was just from our standpoint, we were getting a first-round talent in the fourth round under a contract that was going to keep him in line or it wasn’t going to cost us a penny.  The real downside for us was the fourth-round pick.”

And that’s why teams will continue to take chances on talented players with red flags.  At a certain point in the draft, it’s worth the risk to roll the dice on a player who may end up being a steal.  The downside, as Reese said, is the squandering of the lower-round pick.

That’s why the only way to truly deter teams from taking chances on players whose talent outweighs the risk of the low-round pick used to acquire him is to strip other (and higher) draft picks from teams who take that chance and have it blow up on them.

Unfortunately for the Patriots, Hernandez did nothing in his early years with the team (that they knew about) that caused them to be concerned.

“We knew he had some issues prior,” Reese said.  “[Former Florida coach] Urban Meyer and Bill [Belichick] were very, very close, and I think Urban convinced Bill that, you know, that these things weren’t going to be an issue.  When we structured his first contract, his rookie contract, we probably had 75 percent of the money in the contract set up so that he would only make it if he stayed out of trouble, didn’t miss meetings, was always there doing the right thing.  And for the period of the original contract, he lived up to every bit of it.  So it turned out well. Of course, after that, after he signed [a $40 million contract extension], things kind of went awry.”

Things actually went awry before the contract was signed; Hernandez pulled the trigger multiple times in Boston, killing two men in the process, before he used that same hand to sign his long-term deal.  The Patriots obviously didn’t know that things had taken such a negative turn.

As Tom Curran of CSN New England said on Wednesday’s PFT Live, maybe the Patriots should have known that something wasn’t right with Hernandez, generally.  Given that they already were on notice regarding potential issues at Florida when drafting him, team security should have been paying closer attention to Hernandez’s lifestyle, his whereabouts, and his overall conduct.

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Furtado, Abreu families await justice in second Hernandez trial

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Now that a Bristol County, Massachusetts jury has convicted former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez of first-degree murder in connection with the death of Odin Lloyd in June 2013, a Suffolk County, Massachusetts jury can focus on whether Hernandez killed Safiro Furtado and Daniel de Abreu eleven months earlier.

Via the Boston Globe, the families of Furtado and Abreu held a press conference Wednesday night as a reminder that, while justice has been done for Lloyd, the process is far from complete for Hernandez’s other alleged victims.

“They know that their day is coming,” said attorney William T. Kennedy, who represents the families in a civil lawsuit previously filed against Hernandez. “They’re prepared to do what is necessary to see that justice is done for their two sons. . . . The fact that they’re going to have to now confront again the loss of their two sons is not an easy task for them to take, but it is something that they are committed to seeing is done.”

Prosecutors claim that Hernandez fired five shots into a car carrying Abreu, Furtado, and another man after Abreu bumped into Hernandez in a club in Boston’s South End, causing Hernandez to spill a drink. A trial date is expected to be selected “in the coming days.”

“Justice in America is very strong,” said Safiro Furtado’s father, Salvador.  “I believe in justice in America.”

Justice could be easier to obtain in the next trial, given that the second case against Hernandez includes a murder weapon, eyewitness accounts, and clear evidence of a motive.

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Jurors were shocked by concession that Hernandez witnessed the murder

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The jurors who determined that former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez killed Odin Lloyd conducted a joint press conference on Wednesday, making plenty of interesting observations about the process that ended with Hernandez being convicted.

Most significantly, the jurors expressed surprise that defense lawyer James Sultan admitted during closing arguments that Hernandez witnessed the murder.

We were all shocked by that,” one of the jurors said, via the Boston Globe.  The others expressed agreement with that sentiment.

It was shocking for multiple reasons. First, there was no testimony or other evidence introduced at trial placing Hernandez at the scene of the shooting.  Second, the notion that Hernandez saw someone kill his future brother-in-law (as Sultan also suggested during closing arguments) and then brought the murderer back to Hernandez’s home, where his infant daughter was sleeping, made no sense.

The effort to sneak in evidence that hadn’t been introduced at trial arose from a desire to supply an alternative explanation to the theory that Hernandez killed Lloyd.  In hindsight, it would have been better to stick with the “it wasn’t me” defense, and to poke repeatedly at holes in the government’s failure to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it was.

That tactic could result in an eventual effort by Hernandez to prove that he received ineffective assistance of counsel, one of the common post-trial strategies for attacking a verdict — and for getting a new trial.  For now, it’s one of the reasons the jury rejected the idea that Hernandez  should be acquitted.

The jurors also said they were surprised to learn that Hernandez faces multiple other allegations, including the 2012 double murder in Boston and the 2013 shooting of Alexander Bradley, who testified in connection with the Lloyd murder.  They said that the news made them feel vindicated about their decision.

This assumes one or more of them didn’t already know about the other allegations.  At least one surely did, and he or she is surely smart enough not to admit it.

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Aaron Hernandez will be imprisoned near Gillette Stadium

Aaron Hernandez AP

Aaron Hernandez used to hear the cheers inside Gillette Stadium.

He’ll likely hear them again, from a much different vantage point.

The former Patriots tight end was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, and will be sent to the Massachusetts Correctional Institution-Cedar Junction in Walpole, Mass., which is around a mile away from the place he used to play.

Based on Hernandez’s reaction today (or lack thereof), it’s hard to tell how it would impact him behind prison walls.

But it does create a stark visual of how far he’s fallen, and how fast.

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Brandon Spikes expresses confusion in wake of Hernandez verdict

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Free-agent linebacker Brandon Spikes could end up being a free agent a while longer thanks to a tweet he posted in the aftermath of the Aaron Hernandez murder verdict.

I’m confused about the justice system these days,” Spikes (a former teammate of Hernandez’s at Florida and with the Patriots) tweeted in scream-at-your-eyeballs all caps after the finding of guilt was announced.

There’s nothing to be confused about. The evidence, while circumstantial, was overwhelming. Ultimately, Hernandez’s lawyer conceded that the former Patriots tight end witnessed the killing. Which when coupled with surveillance footage generated by cameras Hernandez placed in and around his home made no sense.

The theory thrown at the wall like a glob of mud by Hernandez’s attorney meant that Hernandez invited the guy (Carlos Ortiz or Ernest Wallace) who had just shot and killed Odin Lloyd back to Hernandez’s home, where Hernandez’s infant daughter was sleeping.

If Spikes should be confused about anything, he should be confused about that. And if he continues to linger on the open market after coming close to breaking out one of the Pouncey twins “Free Hernandez” hats, Spikes shouldn’t be confused about that.

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Jury convicts Aaron Hernandez of first-degree murder

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

The first Aaron Hernandez murder case has made the next Aaron Hernandez murder case largely moot.

A jury in Bristol County, Massachusetts has convicted the former Patriots tight end on all counts, including most importantly the first-degree murder of Odin Lloyd. The jury also found that the killing occurred with “extreme atrocity or cruelty,” but not with premeditation.

The verdict means Hernandez will spend the rest of his life in prison, without the possibility of parole.

Hernandez has appeal rights, which surely will be pursued aggressively. Until then Hernandez will remain in custody, and the case involving allegations that Hernandez killed Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in July 2012 will proceed.

The verdict came after 135 witnesses, 439 exhibits, and more than a week of deliberations.

Hernandez had no obvious reaction to the verdict, but there was an audible gasp from those seated in the courtroom, with Hernandez’s mother and fiancée sobbing throughout the rest of the proceedings. As Judge E. Susan Garsh thanked the jury for their service, a law-enforcement officer applied handcuffs and shackles to Hernandez, who seemed to be on the edge of a breaking down.

Carlos Ortiz and Ernest Wallace will be separately tried for their role in the killing. In closing arguments, lawyer James Sultan suggested that Hernandez merely witnessed a murder committed by one of the other two men.

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