Aaron Hernandez lawyers ask for search warrant to be tossed
BOSTON (AP) Lawyers for former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez asked a judge Tuesday to invalidate a search warrant that led police to seize a vehicle that prosecutors say Hernandez was driving when he fatally shot two men in 2012.
Hernandez has pleaded not guilty in the killings of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in Boston. Authorities say de Abreu accidentally bumped into Hernandez at a Boston nightclub, spilling Hernandez’s drink. They say Hernandez followed the men and opened fire on their car.
During a hearing Tuesday in Suffolk Superior Court, a lawyer for Hernandez said the search warrant that led to the seizure of a Toyota 4Runner is invalid because police relied on information from a man who failed a lie detector test.
Hernandez, who was in court Tuesday, is serving a life sentence in the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancee.
It was Carlos Ortiz, a man who was with Hernandez the night Lloyd was killed, who failed a polygraph test, said James Sultan, an attorney for Hernandez.
Sultan said police in Bristol, Connecticut, omitted the results of the test when they relied on information Ortiz provided to apply for a search warrant. Police first saw the Toyota 4Runner at the Bristol home of Hernandez’s uncle while they were investigating the Lloyd killing.
Assistant District Attorney Teresa Anderson said Bristol police have a policy of not including any polygraph results in warrant applications because they are not admissible at trial.
Judge David Locke did not immediately rule on the defense request.
Lawyers for Hernandez also argued that a charge of witness intimidation against him should be dismissed. Hernandez is charged with shooting a witness to the double murder in the face and leaving him for dead.
Alexander Bradley was shot about seven months after the 2012 double slaying. Hernandez had not yet been charged in the killings.
In court Tuesday, Assistant District Attorney Patrick Haggan said authorities believe Hernandez shot Bradley in February 2013 after he made a remark about the double slaying, angering Hernandez and making him think Bradley ”could no longer be trusted.”
Bradley survived but lost an eye.
Sultan argued that the grand jury that indicted Hernandez on the witness intimidation charge was not given a full account of contradictory statements Bradley made about his shooting, including telling police and a doctor who treated him that he did not know who shot him.
The judge did not immediately rule.
Jury selection in the trial is scheduled to begin Dec. 1.