Aaron Hernandez has been in prison since June 2013, and it will be a few more months until the former NFL player finally stands trial for the murder of Odin Lloyd. Jury selection is set to begin on Jan. 9, 2015, as ruled by Superior Court Judge E. Susan Garsh.
The most recent development in the case involves Hernandez’s cellphone, which the defense was hoping would not be allowed to be used as evidence. State Police Lt. Michael King testified in court on Wednesday, as he questioned Hernandez on the day that the defendant’s phone was seized.
According to his defense attorneys, Hernandez was unfairly questioned in his home, and even though he hadn’t been arrested yet, he was detained. The prosecutors dispute this claim, saying Hernandez was able to go where he pleased, during the questioning.
On Friday, the judge decided that evidence from the cellphone would not be thrown out.
“The Commonwealth did not deliberately induce Hernandez’s lawyer to turn over his cellphone based upon a false claim of legal authority,” Garsh wrote in a ruling, via the Boston Globe.
“The turning over of the phone was a voluntary act. It was not the result of force, threat, trickery, duress, or coercion,” she said.
The cellphone allegedly contains text messages between Hernandez and Ernest Wallace, along with Carlos Ortiz, who were with former New England Patriots tight end on the night of Lloyd’s murder. The two men are currently being charged with first-degree murder for assisting Hernandez in Lloyd’s death.
The defense was not victorious in their most recent attempt, but it was successful earlier this month. Garsh decided that evidence seized from Hernandez’s apartment in Franklin, Massachusetts would be tossed out.
Evidence that can’t be used in court includes .45-caliber bullets and a matching magazine that was found in Hernandez’s hummer. Garsh ruled that a warrant, which was intended to search for a cellphone that belonged to Ortiz, was not linked to a search of Hernandez’s apartment.