Details scarce in case of New England Patriots’ Aaron Hernandez; prominent defense attorney visits North Attleborough home
NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH — Prominent Boston criminal defense lawyer James L. Sultan visited the home of New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez on Tuesday afternoon amid an ongoing homicide investigation that has embroiled the star player for more than a week.
Sultan is a veteran of several high-profile cases, including that of a former Citibank executive twice convicted in the fatal stabbing of his girlfriend on Nantucket in 2004 for whom the lawyer won a new trial on appeal. He entered Hernandez’s home with another man shortly after 3 p.m. Tuesday.
Sultan left about 30 minutes later without speaking to the media contingent camped out across the street. He did not return phone and e-mail messages seeking comment.
Michael K. Fee, a lawyer for Hernandez, said in an e-mail that Sultan’s firm, Rankin & Sultan, has acted as co-counsel since the outset of the investigation. Fee, a partner at the firm of Ropes & Gray, did not elaborate or respond to follow-up inquiries.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the clerk-magistrate at Attleboro District Court, Mark E. Sturdy, issued a statement saying all records in his office relating to the investigation had been impounded by court order.
Sturdy provided no explanation for the order, and he did not return a message left at his office.
Odin Lloyd, 27, of Dorchester, an acquaintance of Hernandez, was found dead June 17 in an industrial park near Hernandez’s home. Lloyd’s death, ruled a homicide soon after, has led police to repeatedly search Hernandez’s residence and a nearby stream.
It has also put the 23-year-old in the media spotlight, which included a day last week in which news helicopters followed him as he drove from his home to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough and to his lawyer’s office at the Prudential Center in Boston.
Hernandez has not been seen off of his property since returning to his house Friday afternoon after a meeting with his lawyers. About 7:20 p.m. on Tuesday, he was seen walking in his backyard with a young woman and a small dog. Hernandez was wearing shorts or swim trunks and no shirt.
In addition to the visit from Sultan on Tuesday, a woman arrived at the home at about 8:30 a.m. and left around 6:30 p.m. with another woman. They did not speak to the press.
The visits followed a bizarre incident on Monday, in which a man pulling away from the house in a sports utility vehicle threw business cards outside the driver’s side window for a Providence barber named Bobby Olivares.
Olivares later told the Globe that he is Hernandez’s regular barber and came by to give him a haircut, but he did not say what they discussed.
Yasmina Serdarevic, a spokeswoman for Bristol District Attorney C. Samuel Sutter’s office, said on Tuesday that the inquiry into Lloyd’s death was “active and ongoing,” and that officials can only release limited information.
“We are trying to protect the integrity of the investigation,” she said. “Once we are able to share information, the district attorney will be speaking.”
Fee, Hernandez’s lawyer, on Monday denied media reports that an arrest warrant had been issued for his client. The Globe has reported that police recovered video apparently showing Hernandez and Lloyd together in Boston hours before Lloyd was found dead.
No arrests have been made in the case.Martin Finucane of the Globe staff and Globe correspondent Juliet Pennington contributed to this report. Travis Andersen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe. Alyssa A. Botelho can be reached at alyssa.botelho@ globe.com. Follow her on Twitter@AlyssaABotelho.