Aaron Hernandez has had no qualms making it public knowledge that he’s quite the gaggle of female fans willing to help make his prison days more pleasant, but the former New England Patriots player’s lawyers have been trying to keep their legal tactics private. Now, the Bristol County District Attorney’s office is asking the Superior Court to not seal all the legal goings on with Aaron Hernandez.
In April, the former New England Patriots star was found guilty of killing Odin Lloyd, the 27-year-old boyfriend of his fiancée’s sister. Lloyd’s bullet-riddled body was found in a North Attleborough industrial park in 2013.
As he weighs legal options leading up to an automatic appeal of his conviction and mandatory life imprisonment, Hernandez and his lawyers are conducting a post-verdict inquiry, which will involve finding out whether a juror was exposed to matters that were not in evidence.
His legal team wants to keep at least some of these moves under seal, making documents unavailable for public inspection and keeping the courtroom closed during hearings. The DA’s office is pushing back, saying the law doesn’t allow it.
His attorneys, have filed four motions asking that their client’s verdict be overturned because of this matter. In plain terms, they say that a jury found out something he or she shouldn’t have and used that in determining his guilt. With as much coverage as the arrest, indictment and trial had, it wouldn’t be too hard for something like that to happen. The documents have been sealed from the public, so it’s unclear what the juror was exposed too.
“The law places a heavy burden on any party seeking to impound court documents or to exclude the public from court proceedings,” wrote Assistant District Attorney Roger L. Michel, Jr., in a court filing on Thursday. “Impoundment is always the exception to the rule.”
Michel argues that since Hernandez’s arrest and trial generated nationwide interest, the public has a right to stay informed in the interest of maintaining the integrity of the court.
“There is simply no appropriate basis for impoundment here,” Michel’s filing reads.
Hernandez faces another trial later this year for a double murder in Boston in 2012.