News Column

Aaron Hernandez Arraignment to Have Strict Rules

Sept. 5, 2013

The public and media are being warned seating will be limited for tomorrow's Superior Court murder arraignment of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez.

The rules for courtroom control is akin to this summer's blockbuster federal trial of mob kingpin James "Whitey" Bulger -- where some people lined up before dawn for limited seats.

A two-page letter of protocol issued late yesterday by Fall River Superior Court Judge Frances A. McIntyre states only 64 seats are available.

The judge writes: "The courtroom has sixty-four seats which will be distributed as follows. Eight seats will be reserved for the family and friends of the decedent. Eight seats will be reserved for the family and friends of the defendant. Twenty-four seats will be reserved for members of the media. Twenty-four seats will be reserved for members of the public."

Hernandez, 23, of Bristol, Conn., whose $12.5 million signing bonus with the Pats last year was the largest ever for a tight end in NFL history, is accused of the June shooting death of his friend Odin L. Lloyd.

In addition to murder, Hernandez is charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of a rifle without an FID card, two counts of unlawful possession of ammo without an FID card and possession of a large-capacity weapon.

The 23-year-old former Pro Bowl player has been held without bail at the Bristol County House of Correction since June 26, when he was charged with the murder of Lloyd, 27. The Dorchester man's body was found riddled with bullets near Hernandez's North Attleboro mansion on June 17.

Lloyd was shot with a .45-caliber weapon. Investigators have released video surveillance photos showing the former football star brandishing a pistol in his home 15 minutes after the slaying of the Dorchester landscaper and Boston Bandits semi-pro linebacker. Police have been searching for the gun since.

Boston police have also told the Herald investigators are looking into any possible connection Hernandez may have to a double-murder in the South End in July of 2012.


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Source: Copyright Boston Herald (MA) 2013

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