Ex-Patriot Hernandez’s fiancee wants text messages
FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez’s fiancee says she wants prosecutors to turn over any text messages they allege he sent about the destruction of evidence in the murder case against him.
In new filings in Fall River Superior Court, Shayanna Jenkins’ attorney asks a judge to order Massachusetts prosecutors to turn over any messages that are “consistent with her being asked to remove items” from their North Attleborough home.
The filing by attorney Janice Bassil refers to another text message that prosecutors allege instructed Jenkins, in code, to damage a video surveillance system.
Bassil also wants any evidence alleging Jenkins threatened to report maids who cleaned their house to immigration authorities if they cooperated with police in the investigation of the killing of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd, who was dating Jenkins’ sister.
The filings say the maids testified before a grand jury that they saw guns in various locations in the house.
Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to murder in the June 2013 killing of Lloyd, whose body was found in an industrial park near his home. Jenkins, accused of lying to the grand jury that indicted Hernandez, has pleaded not guilty to perjury. Prosecutors have said most of Jenkins’ testimony, including about getting rid of a box from the basement at his direction, wasn’t credible. It’s unclear what they think was in the box.
Prosecutors haven’t responded to the filings. A spokesman for Bristol County District Attorney Samuel Sutter said the office had no comment Thursday.
Jenkins’ defense refers in the court filings to a text message that “the commonwealth alleges was a coded message to destroy or damage the video surveillance hard drive.” Authorities have said that video surveillance from Hernandez’s home system before and after Lloyd’s killing shows the ex-Patriot holding a gun that appears to be a Glock. Lloyd is believed to have been killed with a .45-caliber Glock, which prosecutors have said was not recovered.
The court records refer separately to testimony by the maids about having seen guns at the home, including under a mattress in a guest room in the basement, which has previously been disclosed.
But they also testified they saw guns in the pocket of Hernandez’s pants on the floor in his closet and in his closet drawer and “what they believed to be a gun wrapped in a blanket or clothing in a downstairs closet,” the filings say.
Bassil also is seeking, from a lawyer for the four women, copies of applications for visas that allow people who are in the country illegally to stay if they’re assisting in a criminal case.
For the purposes of the application, the attorney, Christopher Furlong, sought “certification” from law enforcement that the women were helpful and cooperative, according to the filings. Bassil said the women’s testimony is critical to the charges against Jenkins and “their bias in favor of a government official who provided them with assistance in obtaining legal status is obvious.”
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