Monday December 22nd, 2014

Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez made his final appearance at Bristol County Superior Court on Monday before his murder trial that is expected to start next month, reports the Boston Globe.

Hernandez is currently being held in jail without bail after authorities charged him with first-degree murder and other weapons charges after the June 2013 shooting death of Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancée.

Last week, a judge threw out text messages sent by Lloyd on the night of his murder, saying that are not admissible at trial.

Jury selection starts Jan. 9. Prosecutors said they expect for the trial to last two and a half months and that they anticipate calling about 45 witnesses. Patriots owner Robert Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick are two of more than 300 names that were listed by prosecutors as possible witnesses for the trial.

Hernandez is also accused of the 2012 alleged murders of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, who prosecutors say were shot when one of them accidentally spilled a drink on the former Patriots star at a Boston nightclub. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to those murder charges as well.

Hernandez’s fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins, also appeared in court on Monday for a hearing. Jenkins pleaded not guilty to lying to a grand jury.

- Scooby Axson

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