Aaron Hernandez

Judge removes juror from Aaron Hernandez trial


Shaneah Jenkins testifies during the murder trial of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez at Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River, Mass., Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015. Hernandez is accused of the June 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd. (AP Photo/The Boston Globe, Aram Boghosian, Pool)

Shaneah Jenkins testifies during the murder trial of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez at Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River, Mass., Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015. Hernandez is accused of the June 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd. (AP Photo/The Boston Globe, Aram Boghosian, Pool)

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FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — The judge overseeing the murder trial of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez removed a juror Tuesday, saying there was evidence she had spoken about the case in previous years and had an early interest in being seated on the panel.

Bristol County Superior Court Judge Susan Garsh dismissed the juror after questioning her individually and closing the courtroom to hear evidence on the matter.

After a closed-door hearing that lasted more than 90 minutes, Garsh said there was credible evidence the juror specifically discussed an opinion about the case, including that it would be hard to convict Hernandez without the murder weapon. She said the juror also discussed several items of evidence that the court has ruled are inadmissible in this case.

“Over the last few years, the juror has expressed an interest in serving on this particular jury,” Garsh said. “There is credible evidence that the juror has attended more Patriots games than were disclosed on the questionnaire.”

Hernandez listened as Garsh spoke and tapped his thigh with the palm of his hand.

“Discharge of the juror is indeed in the best interest of justice,” Garsh said.

It wasn’t immediately clear how the juror issue came to light or what the judge would do about the dismissed juror’s spot.

Previously, there were 18 jurors on the panel. Six of those will be randomly chosen as alternates immediately before deliberations begin.

The former Patriots standout is accused of the June 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd, a semipro football player who was dating his fiancée’s sister. Hernandez, 25, had a $40 million contract with the Patriots when he was arrested.

Proceedings began last week but were suspended Monday when a snowstorm hit. Tuesday was the first day back at the trial since the Patriots won the Super Bowl. The judge told jurors they were allowed to watch the game but had to leave the room or distance themselves if Hernandez’s name came up.

The Tuesday morning session began with a lengthy private sidebar conversation among the judge, prosecutors and the defense. After about 20 minutes, the juror was called in.

In a separate murder case that has yet to go to trial, Hernandez was charged last year in Boston with killing two men in 2012 after someone spilled a drink on him at a nightclub. The judge has ruled that prosecutors in the Lloyd case cannot tell the jury about those slayings.

Hernandez faces life imprisonment if convicted of killing Lloyd.

MICHELLE R. SMITH

Source: AP

Copyright 2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Jet Freighter says:

What has happened to the hernandez trial ?? Seemed to end the day SOO quickly and so UN expected. Appeared bing bang court is in recess. And WHY now until FRIDAY?? And not till Thirsday?? If my info is correct.
Can anyone pls clarify.

Also just read something where ANOTHER jurror was dismissed?? Can anyone clarify that fact as well? How did this come to light ?? Was it done JUST now and hence reason for abrupt recess ??

Any clarification is GREATLY appreciated. Many thanks. In advance.

While commenting. — would appreciate people’s thoughts on WHAT fiancé will NOW say instead of what was GOING to say. That’s gotta be a HUUGE blow to the defense and in my kind NOT FAIR AND NOT JUST. bad ruling.

Thanks again

   

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