Aaron Hernandez appears in Attleboro District Court; probable cause hearing postponed

ATTLEBORO — Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez sported a beard and wore a dark blue blazer as he appeared today in Attleboro District Court for a hearing on the murder charge he faces in the June 17 slaying of Odin L. Lloyd.

The court docket listed today’s event as a probable cause hearing, but over the objections of defense attorney James L. Sultan, District Court Judge Daniel O’Shea postponed the case until Aug. 22 as requested by Bristol District Attorney C. Samuel Sutter’s office.

First Assistant District Attorney William McCauley said in court that his office is presenting evidence against Hernandez to a grand jury, which he expects to act soon. Once Hernandez is indicted, there would be no need for a probable cause hearing and the case against Hernandez would shift to Superior Court.

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Hernandez, showing no emotion, shifted his eyes between the judge, his attorney, and a prosecutor. As he entered the courtroom, he exchanged a brief glance with his girlfriend, Shayanna Jackson, with whom he has a child. Lloyd family members also attended the hearing.

After reviewing a small number of other motions, the judge concluded the Hernandez hearing. Hernandez remained in the courtroom, however, as attorneys for several media outlets, including The Boston Globe, sought access to more records connected to the high-profile murder case.

The outlets sought access to the reports detailing the arrest of Hernandez and a friend of his, Ernest Wallace, who is charged with being an accessory after the fact of murder. Wallace has pleaded not guilty to all charges and is being held without bail.

Prosecutors say Hernandez, Wallace and a third man, Carlos Ortiz, were in the car with Lloyd as he was driven from Boston to North Attleborough, where he was murdered. Ortiz has been charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and is being held without bail.

O’Shea ruled that the information should be released to the public. “They are public records,” the judge said from the bench. “It is appropriate to release the arrest warrants.”

Attorneys for both Hernandez and Wallace asked that the records remain impounded, but asked, if they were released, for time to review them in order to suggest redactions of their clients’ personal information.

O’Shea ruled that the records would be unsealed, pending an appeal by either the prosecution or defense at 3 p.m. Thursday.

Law enforcement officials have told the Globe that investigators believe Hernandez drove Lloyd to an industrial park, then shot him because he was worried Lloyd had information about a South End double homicide in which Hernandez may have been involved.

The Globe reported today that a Suffolk County grand jury is mulling whether to charge Hernandez in the slaying of the two Cape Verdean immigrants in the South End last July, according to two law enforcement officials briefed on the investigation.

Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to all charges and is being held without bail at the Bristol County House of Correction.

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