FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — A dispute over team records that lawyers for Aaron Hernandez had sought from the New England Patriots has been resolved, the defense said Tuesday, though it’s unclear whether the documents were turned over.
A trial date of Jan. 9 was also set for the murder case in which Hernandez is accused of shooting to death a semiprofessional football player.
Hernandez attorney Michael Fee said during a morning hearing in Fall River Superior Court that the matter with his client’s former NFL team has been resolved. That prompted the cancellation of a separate hearing before a different judge that was scheduled for the afternoon.
Defense attorneys declined to comment outside court. The Patriots’ attorney, Andrew Phelan, referred questions to team spokesman Stacey James, who said the team had no comment.
The Patriots had agreed to turn over 317 pages of personnel records sought by the defense, including medical and training records. But the team objected to producing nine pages of scouting reports and a 1½ page summary of a psychological assessment produced by an outside company.
Hernandez, 24, has pleaded not guilty to murder in the June 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd, a football player from Boston who had been dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancee. Lloyd’s bullet-riddled body was found in an industrial area not far from Hernandez’s North Attleborough, Massachusetts, home.
The team released Hernandez on the day of his arrest.
The defense had called Hernandez’s full team records necessary to prepare for trial, and said they may contain critical information about the former player’s state of mind.
Phelan, meanwhile, had accused Hernandez’s attorneys of being on a “fishing expedition.” He said the scouting reports contained trade secrets and were irrelevant to the case. He also said the Patriots had offered the defense the option of reviewing, but not copying, the psychological assessment summary.
The team wanted the defense to get the assessment from the company that wrote it, which provides character and mental assessments to professional sports organizations.
During the morning proceeding, which dealt with scheduling issues, Judge Susan Garsh set the January date as the start of jury selection in the murder case. She said jurors would be selected from a pool of 1,000 people brought in over several days.
Hernandez, who is from Bristol, Connecticut, has pleaded not guilty, in a separate case, to the murder of two men in Boston in 2012. He’s being held without bail.