Judge dismisses text messages, double murder charges as evidence in Aaron Hernandez trial
Text messages sent from Odin Lloyd’s phone on the night of his alleged murder have been ruled inadmissible in court, stripping prosecutors of key evidence.
Key evidence in the murder trial of Aaron Hernandez was ruled inadmissible in court on Friday. Prosecutors will be unable to mention text messages sent by the victim Odin Lloyd on the night of his death or bring up the 2012 double murder that Hernandez has also been indicted for, according to ESPN.
Lloyd reportedly sent text messages to his sister after being picked up in a car by Hernandez and two other men, mere minutes before the trio allegedly shot Lloyd to death in a vacant lot near the former NFL star’s North Attleboro, Mass. home.
Prosecutors claim that the messages, one of which read, “Did you see who I was with?” reveal that Lloyd feared for his life while riding in the car.
But defense attorney James Sultan countered, claiming that, “On their face, these messages do not suggest fear,” according to the Boston Globe.
“They do not suggest knowledge of impending death,” Sultan continued. “They are totally innocuous on their face, but, of course, the government wants to put a much more sinister cast on them.”
Bristol Superior Court Judge E. Susan Garsh agreed, ruling that even if the messages did convey fear on Lloyd’s behalf, that isn’t enough to suggest motive for Hernandez and his fellow defendants.
“The victim’s attitude of hostility toward a defendant, unknown to the defendant, is irrelevant and inadmissible. And even a statement of fear, even if known to the defendant, generally sheds no light on whether the defendant had a motive to kill him and is not admissible,” Garsh said.
Garsh also ruled that there is no link between Lloyd’s death and the 2012 homicides that Hernandez will also stand trial for.
Hernandez, who remains in prison, will face trial on the Lloyd murder on Jan. 9.