Prosecutors say that an anonymous tipster who raised questions about a juror in the murder trial of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez had a sexually explicit relationship with the former NFL player, according to a court filing released on Monday.
The filing comes a week after lawyers for Hernandez were granted a request to let them question a woman who called and claimed that one of the jurors who helped convict their client of murder earlier this year may have lied during jury selection.
But prosecutors say that attempts to question the tipster, whose real identity is redacted and only identified as “Katy” in court documents, is nothing more than an "unwarranted fishing expedition."
Hernandez’s lawyer, James Sultan, said the woman has had “extensive personal contact” with Hernandez since the 2013 trial and worked with the juror who claims to have known information about a 2012 double murder in Boston in which Hernandez has been charged.
“‘Katy’ hasn’t simply been in personal contact with the defendant,” prosecutors wrote in the filing. “She had an ongoing sexually explicit relationship with the defendant prior to and during the trial.
“It was a relationship that [the tipster], based on her uninformed belief in the defendant's innocence, hoped would continue after the defendant’s release.”
The court documents give little details of the relationship between “Katy” and Hernandez, but say that Hernandez had some sort of relationship with the tipster’s father.
The filing comes the day that the Associated Press reported Hernandez’s fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins, asked a Rhode Island court to change her last name to Jenkins-Hernandez. Hernandez and Jenkins have a young daughter together, whose name is Avielle Jenkins-Hernandez.
Massachusetts prison officials said they have no record of Hernandez getting married or filing a request to get married, according to the AP.
Hernandez was found guilty in April of first-degree murder in the death of 27-year-old semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd, who was dating Jenkins’s sister. He received an automatic sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole and was also found guilty of multiple weapons charges. He is appealing the conviction.
Hernandez is also charged separately with two counts of murder, three counts of assault with intent to commit murder and a weapons charge in the deaths of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado. Authorities say Hernandez shot the men after one of them bumped into him at a nightclub and caused him to spill his drink. He has pleaded not guilty to those charges.
- Scooby Axson