On January 5, jury selection begins in the first murder trial involving former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez. Which means that the balance of the month will feature periodic rulings and decisions regarding the evidence that will or won’t be introduced.
Most recently, Judge E. Susan Garsh has ruled that text messages sent by Odin Lloyd to his sister on the evening of his murder will be excluded from the trial.
“U see who I’m with?” Lloyd texted his sister on the morning of his murder, after he left his home with Hernandez. “NFL, just so you know.”
The article from Jenny Wilson of the Hartford Courant doesn’t explain why the evidence was excluded. Judge Garsh may have concluded that it was hearsay that didn’t fall into any of the various exceptions to the hearsay rule. (For those interested and/or afflicted with insomnia, the exceptions to the hearsay rule when the person who made the statement isn’t available to testify at trial appear in Rule 804 of the rules of evidence.) Also, the Confrontation Clause of the Constitution may have contributed to the ruling.
Judge Garsh also determined that texts from Hernandez to his alleged accomplices instructing them to come to Massachusetts from Connecticut on the night of the shooting could be used as evidence, along with surveillance video showing Hernandez and others carrying guns into Hernandez’s house, something that allegedly occurred after Lloyd was shot.