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Ex-New England Patriot Hernandez Indicted for Murder

Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to murder in the death of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Aaron Hernandez appeared in court this afternoon after being indicted on murder and weapons charges. (Published Thursday, Aug 22, 2013)

    A grand jury has indicted former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez in the murder of Odin Lloyd, according to New England Cable News.

    He was indicted on murder and weapons possessions charges this morning, according to prosecutors. Those charges include murder, carrying a firearm, and weapons possession charges.

    The indictment alleges that Hernandez assaulted and beat Lloyd, with intent to murder.

    Hernandez, dressed in a collared shirt and a jacket, was in court briefly for what was supposed to be a hearing on what evidence prosecutors have in the murder case against him. However, prosecutors said the hearing was not necessary because of the indictment. 

    Hernandez has not yet been arraigned in Superior Court.

    In court, the defense said they had not yet seen the indictments and mentioned some concerns about the gag order in place in the case and about discovery, and it made allegations of "serious prosecutorial misconduct."

    Prosecutors addressed the discovery concerns by saying they had provided the defense with 68 DVDs or CD, volumes of reports and a complete copy from Hernandez’s home surveillance system. 

    The judge brought up the defense's allegations of the state willfully misleading witnesses and obstructing justice, and prosecutors responded, saying they had not heard about the allegations until arriving in court this afternoon and could not intelligently respond to it.  

    "I suppose a second, an easier way of addressing that is, I take it the Commonwealth has no intention of 'willfully misleading potential witnesses or otherwise obstructing justice,' and so an order not to do that would be unnecessary?" the judge said.

    "That's correct, your honor," the prosecution said.

    The judge said that the gag order remains in effect unless the judge who issued it made a change or the case was dismissed.

    The defense and prosecutors both spoke outside the courthouse.

    "We wanted to say that we were very disappointed today that we did not go forward with a probable cause hearing. The defense counsel were looking forward to testing the Commonwealth's evidence, something that has not been done to date," Michael Fee, defense attorney for Hernandez, said.

    He said they were looking forward to cross-examining witnesses and examining their credibility.

    Fee said that the defense is pleased that the indictment will move this case on a path to trial.

    "There has been an incredible rush to judgment in this case. It has been based on innuendo and misrepresentations of facts ... here say and opinion has been represented as fact and evidence, and is in not," Fee said.

    "Aaron Hernandez is an innocent man as we stand here today. he is presumed innocent under our system. He remains innocent under our system, and now we are one step closer to a trial, where the evidence will be tested and will be subjected to judicial oversight and a jury of objective individuals will show their own judgment and examine the evidence and determine whether the Commonwealth has carried its burden," Fee said.  

    Hernandez, a Bristol, Conn. native, has pleaded not guilty to murder in the death of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd, who was found shot to death June 17 near Hernandez's North Attleboro, Mass. home.

    Prosecutors said Hernandez orchestrated Lloyd's killing because he was upset at him for talking to people Hernandez had problems with a few days earlier. Hernandez's lawyers said they are confident he'll be exonerated.

    Court records were unsealed earlier this month that said that state police were told that Hernandez stored the gun allegedly used to kill Lloyd in a box in his basement.

    Officials located the box, but the weapon was not inside.

    The probable cause hearing was to happen today but a judge granted a delay last month in the proceeding after prosecutors asked for more time to present evidence to a grand jury.

    Hernandez is being held at a county jail in Massachusetts without bail.

    Another hearing will be held next Friday at 2 p.m. for probable cause.

    As Hernandez was leaving court, he mouthed "I love you" presumably to his fiance, and was escorted out of the courtroom.