A jury today found former Gator and Patriot football player not guilty on two counts of murder, along with the attempted murders of the other passengers and the intimidation charge against the State’s key witness. He was found guilty of illegal firearms possession, and sentenced to four to five years in prison, most of which he has already served. Now, this acquittal may be all for naught, as Hernandez is already sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Odin Lloyd, for whom he was convicted of killing in 2013.
Keep in mind, a criminal acquittal is not proof that he did not do it (cough cough – OJ – cough cough). It merely means that the state did not convince the jurors beyond and to the exclusion of any reasonable doubt. The state’s case was based on the testimony of Alexander Bradley, a convicted violent drug dealer who says he was there and Hernandez did it. Hernandez’s attorney Jose Baez (who famously defended Casey Anthony) did a great job of casting doubt on Bradley, his motivations, and suggesting that it may have been Bradley who did the shooting. Without corroborating evidence, accepting Bradley’s testimony to convict was presumably to hard for the jury to swallow.
Hernandez’s other conviction is being appealed and will be heard by the Massachusetts Supreme Court, probably later this year.
The prosecution and Defense concluded their closing arguments this afternoon. The jury is expected to begin deliberations tomorrow. The Defense attacked the state’s star witness, himself a violent drug dealer with reason to blame Hernandez instead of himself. Jose Baez made some colorful arguments that the state did not prove their case.
Hernandez’ arm, with possibly incriminating tats
The State argues their witness was credible, and that the evidence supports his claim. They say Hernandez had motive, opportunity, and they allege that a tattoo he later got equates to a confession. This is not the first time tattoos have allegedly documented a crime. A verdict is expected in the coming days.
The prosecutors offered immunity to the fiance of Aaron Hernandez in order to get her to testify on their behalf in both of his murder trials. She testified in the second case this week, but she was definitely not there to help the prosecution. In fact, she gave Hernandez an alibi, saying that he was in a hotel with her at the time the murders allegedly took place. Prosecutors rebutted that evidence, by showing that a call was made from Hernandez’ phone to her from Boston’s South End just minutes after he allegedly shot two men after a dispute at a Boston nightclub. A federal agent testified that cell phone records indicated there was “absolutely no way” he could have been in Plainville when she claimed.
Jenkins-Hernandez was a reluctant witness for the prosecution, to say the least. After the previous trial where Aaron Hernandez was convicted of the murder of Odin Lloyd, she not only maintained her engagement to him, but she even added is name to hers as a hyphenate. They are not legally married, and apparently Massachusetts does not allow conjugal visits, even if they were married. While she testified for the prosecutors, if they secure a conviction, it will be in spite of her testimony, not because of it.
The prosecution is expected to rest their case today or early next week.
Posted in Criminal Law, Florida, Uncategorized
Tagged aaron hernandez, boston, connecticut, dan wetzel, jose baez, Massachusetts, murder, nfl, plainville, south end, trial
The Fort Myers Police Department has completed an internal investigation regarding the mistaken arrest of NFL player Nate Allen several months ago. They found that errors were made by the officers investigating, which led to him being improperly detained. Sanctions have been levied by FMPD, including suspensions for a couple of officers involved in the investigation.
Allen’s attorney Sawyer Smith will respond to the announcement with a press conference tomorrow at 10 a.m. Smith has long been calling for an outside investigation into the incident, and the City Council discussed the possibility some time ago, but deferred to hear the result of the FMPD investigation.
Previous coverage of the Nate Allen case on crimcourts: https://crimcourts.wordpress.com/tag/nate-allen/
Molly Shattuck (Right) with the Ravens Cheerleaders
Molly Shattuck, who gained some fame 10 years ago as the older cheerleader in the NFL at 38-years-old, entered a plea in her sex offense case. She pleaded guilty to performing a sex act on a boy who was 15-years-old at the time. She was accused, basically, of giving him a blow job and some other counts of providing alcohol to minors, which have been dropped. Sentencing is several weeks away, where it is anticipated that she will ask the court not to sentence her to incarceration, since she is a first-time offender. She will be designated as a sex-offender, and must report for at least 25 years.
This offense is a felony, unlike the misdemeanor former Ben-Gal Sarah Jones pled to a couple years ago.
Former NFL tight end Aaron Hernandez was found guilty today of First Degree Murder in the killing of Odin Lloyd. The jury deliberated for about a week before reaching the verdict. There is no death penalty in Massachusetts, so the judge went ahead and sentenced Hernandez to life in prison, which carries no possibility of parole.
Jurors gave a press conference afterword. They were apparently not impressed by the defense version of the story, and surprised at the fact that his attorney conceded he was present at the scene of the murder. However, they also were pretty moved by the State’s evidence, so they may have found him guilty if the Defense hadn’t present a theory of the case. They just needed a better one, but the evidence didn’t allow it.
Today represents the fifth full day of deliberations in the murder trial of Aaron Hernandez. Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel points out that this is not an unusual time frame for a Massachusetts murder trial jury, especially on a complicated case like this. The presentation of the trial took 41 days, and the proof appears to be circumstantial, albeit substantial.