Aaron Hernandez Charged With First Degree Murder
Today Aaron Hernandez was arrested and charged with first degree murder. The judge denied his defense attorney's request for bail.
Based on the evidence laid out by the prosecution -- both video surveillance and text message -- prosecutors can place Hernandez at the murder scene at the time of death.
Assuming this video and text evidence is admissible at trial, Hernandez has only two real lines fo defense: a. he didn't pull the trigger and/or b. someone else killed the victim after they dropped him off at the scene.
Both of these defenses are incredibly weak, especially in light of the shell casings that they found in one of the rental cars.
Indeed, the scope and breadth of the police work in this case is astoundingly detailed.
This was not a slipshod job.
The police took their time and constructed what appears to be an airtight case against Hernandez. Basically, the prosecution laid out its entire case in the arraignment.
And, wow, what a case.
Just moments before his death the victim texted his sister to make sure she knew who he was with. "Just so you know," he said.
Sounds like the victim feared what might be coming.
Now, it's important to remember that we still haven't heard much about the other two murder defendants in this case. Who are they? What's their story? It's possible that the prosecution is trying to force Hernandez to give up the other two men in exchange for more lenient treatment.
Right now the only thing the prosecution doesn't have is an eye witness.
I would imagine that Hernandez's highly paid attorneys are advising him to squeal, but you can also bet that the other two potential defendants' attorneys are telling them the same thing.
Even if all three men refuse to implicate any of the other defendants, I come back to the big question -- what's the defense here?
At best, Hernandez can argue that someone else killed the victim. Is a jury going to believe that someone else happened to come upon the victim and execution style kill him after we know that Hernandez and his crew drove him to an isolated location?
That seems like an awful defense.
Basically, Aaron Hernandez is in big, big trouble.
While Massachusetts doesn't have the death penalty, there's a very real possibility that he'll spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Now let's dive into Aaron Hernandez's past, who is this guy, how did he get to the point where he'd be facing first degree murder charges at 23? Were there any clues he might be a bad guy?
Unless, that is, you happened to be Florida head coach Urban Meyer.
Back in 2010 Florida head coach Urban Meyer was unhappy with then-Orlando Sentinel beat writer Jeremy Fowler for using quotes from wide receiver Deonte Thompson about former Florida Gator quarterback Tim Tebow. It was spring practice in 2010, the first time the Gators had practiced without Tebow or former starting tight end Aaron Hernandez.
Meyer was furious.
Here was Fowler's discussion of the incident. “I told you five years ago," Meyer said, "Don’t mess with our players. Don’t do it. You did it. You do it one more time and the Orlando Sentinel’s not welcome here ever again. Is that clear? It’s yes or no.” (finger pointing toward the face) “Urban, come on. Don’t make any threats,” I said. “That’s fine. I’ll play by rules. But all I was doing is quoting the guy. I don’t think I was the only one.”
“You’re a bad guy, man,” Meyer said. “You’re a bad guy.”
Above is video of the confrontation.
Of course, Fowler is not a bad guy, he now writes for CBS Sports and is a well-respected journalist in college sports.
The real bad guy?
Urban Meyer's starting tight end, who would be drafted by the Patriots just a couple of weeks after Meyer's 2010 confrontation with Fowler.
During Meyer's tenure with the Gators, Florida had 31 players arrested, by far the most in the SEC during that time period.
But Meyer disputed that his program had "bad kids" when he accepted the Ohio State job.
Indeed, at his opening press conference Meyer responded to a question about player arrests at Florida.
"I know there’s been some issues that we’ve had that I’ve had to deal with, not that we’re proud of. We have a set of core values. Honesty, respect. Number one, treat everyone with respect. Number two, no drugs, no stealing, no weapons. Those are core value issues. You’re either dismissed or you miss a good bunch of time playing the game. Most everything else are mistakes. Sometimes you’re in a college town where things get anything, all of a sudden it’s on the front page of the paper. So the issues we had I see numbers of arrests and the numbers I see are exaggerated.
I know what we’ve had to deal with. If we had one, that’s too many. Our job as a coaching staff is to mentor, to discipline and to educate young people. And we’ve had a pretty good track record. We ran into some bumps in the road at the University of Florida.
Does that mean we had bad kids? I’ll fight that forever. No, absolutely not, we did not have bad guys. Did they make stupid mistakes. Yeah, I’ve made a few stupid mistakes. We’re going to correct them. We’re going to go really hard and try to recruit really good people to represent Ohio State. That does not mean we’re going to give up on kids. So that’s kind of the belief we have here."
There it is, a direct quote. "We did not have bad guys."
Particularly in light of the first degree murder charge just pinned on Aaron Hernandez.
So Meyer's willing to call a reporter without any murder charges on his rap sheet a bad guy, but not any of the 31 players he had arrested?
Makes perfect sense.
Of course, Meyer's famously lax discipline wasn't just noticed by media, fans, and opposing coaches.
"No doubt, if Coach Meyer were still coaching, I'd still be playing for the Gators," says Jenkins, whom Muschamp booted from UF's team after being arrested twice for possession of marijuana during the offseason. "Coach Meyer knows what it takes to win."
There's no disputing Meyer's coaching abillity. but has Urban Meyer avoided disciplining his players in the public arena?
There's zero doubt.
And can you argue that Aaron Hernandez's problems three years later might have something to do with the cushy treatment he received from Meyer at Florida? After all, Hernandez had multiple failed drug tests, was put on probation for a bar fight as a freshman, had substantial gang-related connections, and was questioned about a double shooting on campus.
What did Meyer do to Hernandez for all these public incidents?
He suspended him for one game.
But, remember, there were no "bad guys" at Florida while Urban Meyer was there.
Just bad guy reporters.
Maybe Urban can be a character witness at Hernandez's murder trial.