FALL RIVER, Mass. – A tentative trial date of October 6 has been set in the murder case against former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez. Judge E. Susan Garsh is expected to announce when the official start of the trial and jury selection will begin after a pre-trial conference in July.
“Let’s pencil that in,” Garsh said.
Assistant District Attorney William McCauley estimated the trial would take between one and two months.
“We’re asking for a speedy trial,” defense attorney James Sultan said. “We want the case moving forward.”
Hernandez, 24, was in court Monday morning to observe his defense team’s challenges to evidence collected during the homicide investigation following the killing of Odin Lloyd, a Hernandez acquaintance, in the early hours of June 17, 2013. Sultan insisted that the prosecution has not established probable cause. Hernandez’s attorneys requested that surveillance video from Hernandez’s home in North Attleborough, Mass. – a half mile from the murder scene in an industrial park – be excluded from the trial. Prosecutors responded by calling the images “powerful” evidence.
“You can’t throw a bunch of stuff at the wall,” Sultan said. “That’s not probable cause.”
Defense attorney Michael Fee also noted that they have requested records from the Patriots, but have not heard back.
“There’s been silence,” Fee said. “We’ve been ignored.”
Hernandez was also arraigned on charges of threatening a guard in jail and assaulting a handcuffed inmate. Hernandez pleaded not guilty to both counts.
Lloyd’s mother, Ursula Ward, attended the court session. She sat with family and stared at Hernandez, who sat passively, for large portions of the hearing. She shook her head and took deep breaths when the events that led to the murder of her son were detailed. Hernandez’s mother, Terri, was also in the room.
Hernandez mouthed, “I love you,” to his mother both upon entry and departure. She blew him a kiss, as he left.
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