Hernandez defense relies on bizarre PCP argument

AP

The case-in-chief presented by the prosecution in the first Aaron Hernandez murder case included 131 witnesses.  The first of only three witnesses presented by Hernandez showed that his lawyers will put plenty of eggs into a fairly bizarre basket.

At closing argument, Hernandez’s lawyers will attempt to show that reasonable doubt as to his guilt exists because it’s possible that Carlos Ortiz and/or Ernest Wallace killed Odin Lloyd in a fit of rage induced by ingestion of PCP.

Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports explains why the testimony of Dr. David Greenblatt possibly did more harm than good, thanks to a skillful cross examination that made the effort to create reasonable doubt seem like spitballs of speculation aimed at sticking to the walls of the jury room, giving those inclined to acquit Hernandez a plausible basis for doing so.  Greenblatt admitted that he doesn’t know if Wallace and/or Ortiz had taken PCP and that it would be impossible to know it without a toxicology report (or without testimony from Wallace and/or Ortiz that they had taken PCP).  Greenblatt also admitted that it would be impossible to know if they’d suffered PCP-induced psychosis that resulted in the shooting of Lloyd.

Greenblatt also admitted that drinking alcohol can lead to violent acts, which as Wetzel notes dovetails with testimony from Hernandez’s fiancée that Hernandez was drunk that night.

The decision to call Greenblatt shows that Hernandez’s lawyers feel compelled to introduce an alternative explanation for a mountain of circumstantial evidence that points to Hernandez committing the murder personally or being sufficiently involved in a joint venture to be culpable.  If the only alternative explanation is that the other two men in the car with Hernandez and Lloyd killed Lloyd in a fit of PCP-related psychosis without any evidence that the two men had taken PCP, Hernandez’s lawyers would have been better off ignoring that angle and harping at closing arguments on the notion that there’s still no murder weapon and no proof of a motive to kill Lloyd, even though proof of motive isn’t technically required.

Thanks to Greenblatt’s testimony, the jury may now be even more inclined to convict Hernandez without a specific motive, embracing the notion that Hernandez killed Lloyd in a fit of drunken rage — especially if the jurors apply common sense to undisputed evidence that Hernandez instructed his fiancée to get rid of a mystery box not by throwing it in the trash at their home but by throwing it in some random dumpster.

31 responses to “Hernandez defense relies on bizarre PCP argument

  1. Actually when you think about it, Hernandez was a high functioning individual. I do know how many people could be a murderer, liar, adulterer, regular PCP/Marijuana and alcohol abuser and elite NFL player. Imagine if he used his talent for good. What a waste.

  2. Never seen such a high priced lawyer ruin an easy “reasonable doubt” trial.
    See ya Aaron.

  3. So his defense is – “I didn’t do it, and I know nothing about the murder. But if someone does know something about it, it’s one of the two guys that I was with” ?

    Yeah, that usually isn’t a good way to go.

  4. What happened to this being a slam dunk case? In this article it talks about a mountain of circumstantial evidence. That is far from a slam dunk.

    I am curious to see how it plays out.

  5. Hernandez’s lawyer is apparently Harvey Birdman, Attorney-at-Law. He should have paid more and hired Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer.

  6. Here’s what doesn’t make sense. He told people he wasn’t there then they were able to prove he was there within a few minutes of the murder. He claims to have had nothing to do with it. His lawyers claim it’s a made up case. They did well on cross-examining prosecution witnesses. Now, in spite of this being a made-up case, they are trying to blame it on one of the other guys in the car being in a PCP induced rage? Why not try to say it was the boogie man? That might be more plausible than trying to say it was one of the other two in a PCP rage. Even if that’s the case, doesn’t this show they admit he was there and wouldn’t that then place Hernandez under the joint venture? I thought there was a good chance they could convict him and I think it’s a better chance now.

    Like audge86 said though….he only needs one Patriots fan on that jury to not return a guilty verdict. I hope that’s not the case and they make their decision based on what they heard in court. I think everything he did certainly throws suspicion. A reasonable person would not have done the things he did after the fact unless he was trying to cover it up. I think maybe Hernandez was the one in the PCP rage.

  7. If nothing else, it certainly opens the door for an appeal based on inadequate representation. I think a cheap public defender could’ve did this good but glad AH had to waste his own money. AH and Darren Sharper will make a good start to a prison football team.

  8. whenwilliteverend says:
    Apr 7, 2015 9:54 AM

    Here’s what doesn’t make sense. He told people he wasn’t there then they were able to prove he was there within a few minutes of the murder. He claims to have had nothing to do with it. His lawyers claim it’s a made up case. They did well on cross-examining prosecution witnesses. Now, in spite of this being a made-up case, they are trying to blame it on one of the other guys in the car being in a PCP induced rage? Why not try to say it was the boogie man? That might be more plausible than trying to say it was one of the other two in a PCP rage. Even if that’s the case, doesn’t this show they admit he was there and wouldn’t that then place Hernandez under the joint venture? I thought there was a good chance they could convict him and I think it’s a better chance now.

    ————-

    Joint venture doesn’t just mean he was there. they have to prove that they all went there with the intention of killing Lloyd. They all knew about it and planned it together.

    If he goes free, it’s due to pretty shoddy police work.

  9. His defense team did a great job by not allowing evidence for this trial. The guy he shot in the face in FL, testified in this trial but couldn’t say he AH shot him; judge wouldn’t allow it. The motive for the Lloyd murder was that he apparently knew about the earlier double homicide, that wasn’t allowed to be mentioned in this trial. So there is no motive, as they can’t mention that.

    Must be nice to hire high priced lawyers.

  10. The PCP defense is pretty smart actually. In a joint venture murder, they don’t have to prove that you actually pulled the trigger but that you had the same intent as the other actors. If he’s under the effects of drugs/PCP then there is reasonable doubt as to whether he was even able to form the intent necessary for a conviction.

  11. If you are going to ride with the PCP argument, you need to provide more evidence. Pulling something out of thin air isn’t basis for reasonable doubt. If I were a juror, I would wonder why the defense made the claim and then didn’t try to prove it.

  12. What next, a book with the title: “If I did it; Confessions of the Killer?”

    Hummm. I think I heard that one before.

  13. twinbrooks says:
    Apr 7, 2015 11:22 AM
    His defense team did a great job by not allowing evidence for this trial. The guy he shot in the face in FL, testified in this trial but couldn’t say he AH shot him; judge wouldn’t allow it. The motive for the Lloyd murder was that he apparently knew about the earlier double homicide, that wasn’t allowed to be mentioned in this trial. So there is no motive, as they can’t mention that.

    Must be nice to hire high priced lawyers.
    ~~~~~~~~~
    From what I understand about the second murder trial, they have an eyewitness, video of him driving around the block apparently waiting for the victims to emerge and some other stuff. That seems like a lock and if it were tried first (and convicted), the motive would have been in play for this trial. The guy shot in the face either did not file complaint or it isn’t adjudicated yet so AH is not proven guilty of that. If he were already convicted that would have probably been allowed also depending on how the prosecutors used him as a witness.

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