Today was a very successful day for Aaron Hernandez and his defense team as Bristol Superior Court Judge E. Susan Garsh heard arguments to admit or exclude key evidence against the former New England Patriots star in his trial set to start in January.
Among the evidence that the Prosecutors will not be able to admit at trial is:
Text messages from the victim, Odin L. Llyod, to Hernandez in the hours before Lloyd’s death. Lloyd sent texts to his sister stating “Did you see who I’m with?” then “NFL” and finally “Just so you know,” according to prosecutors.
Testimony by friend Alexander Bradley about an incident in which Hernandez allegedly shot Bradley on Feb. 13, 2013, in Florida. Bradley has sued Hernandez in federal court, seeking damages.
A 2009 photo of Hernandez allegedly holding a gun that was published by TMZ.
Evidence from a 2012 double homicide in Boston for which Hernandez also faces first-degree murder charges. Prosecutors unsuccessfully argued that that Hernandez, who went to a nightclub with Lloyd two days before Lloyd was killed, might have shown Lloyd the spot where he had killed his two victims in 2012 — and then later regretted telling him. Judge Garsh ruled it was “not a reasonable inference” to believe.
Generally, evidence of prior bad acts is not admissible to demonstrate the defendant’s bad character or propensity to commit the crime charged but, if not too remote in time, may be admissible to show motive, opportunity, state of mind, intent, preparation, plan, pattern of operation, common scheme, relationship between a defendant and a victim, knowledge, identity, or absence of mistake or accident.
Judge Garsh also sided with prosecutors on several issues including ruling they can introduce numerous pieces of evidence tying Hernandez to guns including a pistol apparently tossed from a car near the murder scene. Prosecutors can also introduce evidence that Hernandez purchased marijuana from Lloyd.
Finally, Judge Garsh held that 3 charges related to a rifle found in a vehicle in Hernandez’s garage and other charges related to ammunition will not be heard by the same jury as the Lloyd murder charges.
Jury selection is scheduled to begin Jan. 5.
Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him and is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.