Judge tosses victim's text messages in Aaron Hernandez case

Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez is scheduled to appear in court on Friday for a pre-trial hearing.
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A judge ruled that text messages sent by the victim allegedly shot by former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez are not admissible at trial, reports the Boston Globe.

Prosecutors have said that Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancée and who was allegedly killed by Hernandez and two other men in June 2013, sent text messages on the night of his death to his sister after being picked up in a car by Hernandez and others.

Judge E. Susan Garsh said that the victim’s “state of mind is relevant to motive only if there is reason to believe the defendant knew of it."

"The victim’s attitude of hostility toward a defendant, unknown to the defendant, is irrelevant and inadmissible," she said.

Hernandez is in jail and held without bail after being charged with first-degree murder and other weapons charges in the death of Lloyd. He is scheduled to appear in court on Friday for a pre-trial hearing.

Jury selection in the Lloyd case is expected to start Jan. 5. Patriots owner Robert Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick are two of more than 300 names listed by prosecutors as possible witnesses for the trial.

Hernandez’s attorneys want the judge in the case to ban prosecutors from discussing other crimes that Hernandez is accused of, including the 2012 alleged murders of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado. According to prosecutors, both men were shot when one of them accidentally spilled a drink on the former Patriots star at a Boston nightclub.

Hernandez, 25, pleaded not guilty to the shootings in both cases.

The defense claims that evidence in the 2012 shooting and other alleged crimes against Hernandez would create an “undue prejudice” against their client and lessen his chances of receiving a fair trial.

Two Hernandez associates, Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, have also been charged with murder in the Lloyd case, and his fiancée Shayanna Jenkins faces a perjury charge concerning her grand jury testimony, with prosecutors saying she lied numerous times during the testimony. Wallace, Ortiz and Jenkins have all pleaded not guilty.

- Scooby Axson