Aaron Hernandez fiancee’s perjury case needs to be explained in more detail, judge rules
FALL RIVER — A Bristol Superior Court judge today ordered prosecutors to be more specific about their perjury case against the fiancee of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez, who faces a charge of murder.
Defense attorneys questioned the government’s case against Shayanna Jenkins, who pleaded not guilty in mid-October and was released on her own recognizance.
“I have no idea, frankly, what they consider to be perjury,” said Jenkins’s attorney, Janice Bassil.
Judge E. Susan Garsh asked prosecutors whether they believed that everything Jenkins told a grand jury investigating the murder was false. Prosecutor William McCauley responded by saying, “That’s a hard question to answer.”
He said that from the beginning of the investigation, Jenkins made false statements to police and then later continued doing so in front of the grand jury “to protect, to cover up, to assist in keeping evidence from beyond our reach.”
The judge gave the prosecution until Dec. 2 to file a bill of particulars detailing the charges against Jenkins. The judge slated a pretrial hearing for January.
Hernandez is charged in the June 17 slaying of Odin Lloyd, whose body was found in an industrial park near Hernandez’s North Attleborough home.
Prosecutors have said that Jenkins, at the request of Hernandez, went to the basement of their home June 18, collected a box, put it in a plastic bag covered with baby clothes, and drove off in her sister’s car to toss the box in a dumpster.
When questioned at a Bristol County grand jury session about her actions, prosecutors have said, Jenkins falsely claimed she could not recall where she discarded the box. She also said she had gone out for baby formula, but falsely testified that she did not remember where she went, despite being shown surveillance footage of her that day at an ATM in Plainville, according to prosecutors.
The statements came after Jenkins received immunity and was informed of her obligation to tell the truth.
Bassil, noting today that Jenkins’ grand jury testimony transcript is is more than 200 pages long, asked for prosecutors to specify the passages in it where her client allegedly lied.
Prosecutors have also said that Jenkins tried to get cleaners who worked at the couple’s house to sign nondisclosure agreements after Lloyd’s death. They also allege that Jenkins, 24, falsely told police that Lloyd, who was dating her sister, dealt drugs.