Judge grants Hernandez bid to suppress evidence
FALL RIVER, Mass. —
A judge on Tuesday granted a request by former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez to suppress evidence from two cellphones and three iPads taken from his home in a search during a 2013 murder investigation.
Bristol Superior Court Judge E. Susan Garsh ruled that police were not entitled to take those items because they didn't specifically list them in a search warrant for Hernandez's North Attleborough home on June 18, 2013.
The items were seized during an investigation into the killing of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee. Hernandez is charged with murder in the fatal shooting of Lloyd, whose body was found in an industrial park about a half-mile from Hernandez's home.
Hernandez, who grew up in Bristol, Connecticut, is charged separately in the killings of two men in Boston in 2012 after a brief encounter at a nightclub. He has pleaded not guilty in both cases.
Prosecutors had argued that the warrant authorized the seizure of any global positioning system devices, but the judge disagreed.
"The police operated under the misimpression that the search warrant authorized the seizure of GPS devices when they seized the cellphones and tablets from Hernandez's residence," the judge wrote in her ruling.
Prosecutors declined to comment on the judge's ruling, citing a gag order issued by her in the case. Hernandez's lawyers did not immediately respond to requests seeking comment.
Last month, the judge rejected a request from Hernandez's lawyers to suppress evidence from another cellphone and video surveillance cameras at Hernandez's home.
Prosecutors have said the cameras, which were part of Hernandez's home security system, show him holding a gun after Lloyd was shot in the industrial park. They said the video also shows Hernandez with Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, who are charged along with him in Lloyd's killing and have pleaded not guilty.