Rumors may continue claiming that Aaron Hernandez is broke and can’t afford his attorneys, but that hasn’t stopped them from working round the clock to get his murder conviction overturned. Earlier in June, the former New England Patriots tight end filed four motions claiming possible jury corruption, and now they’re really pushing hard to have a judge throw out his first-degree murder conviction for the shooting murder of Odin Lloyd in 2013.
Earlier this week, a judge made this juror off limits to both the Hernadez legal team and the prosecutors so this could drag on for some time while his next trial is already in the works for the Christmas season.
In court papers, Hernandez’s attorneys argued there was not enough evidence for jurors to convict him on the legal theory that the shooting of Lloyd was committed with “extreme atrocity or cruelty’’ as required by state law.
The defense wants Bristol Superior Court Judge E. Susan Garsh to overturn the jury’s verdict convicting him of first-degree murder, which carries a punishment of life imprisonment without parole.
“There was nothing particularly ‘extreme’ about this case when compared to numerous other killings involving the use of a handgun,’’ the defense attorneys wrote in the filing, which is a standard legal tactic after a defendant is convicted.
The defense also said prosecutors made numerous factual errors during their closing argument to the jury, which ultimately convicted Hernandez of first-degree murder this April.
Bristol District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III’s office contends the conviction should stand.
Another issue pending before Garsh is a separate defense motion that asks her to examine whether one of the jurors who voted to convict Hernandez violated court rules during jury selection.
Garsh has not decided whether to hold a hearing on that defense request.
Hernandez is now facing another trial, this time in Suffolk Superior Court, on two counts of first-degree murder charges for the 2012 Boston slayings of two men and a witness intimidation charge for allegedly shooting a former friend in the face in Florida in 2013. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty.
At a court appearance in Boston in May, Hernandez had a new tattoo running along the right side of his neck that included the word “Lifetime.” The full tattoo was not visible.