Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez discussed the murder of the man he is charged with killing, Odin L. Lloyd, in telephone calls recorded at the Bristol County jail, prosecutors allege in court papers.
Bristol District Attorney C. Samuel Sutter’s office is seeking copies of recordings of the calls and records showing the people who have visited Hernandez at the jail since his arrest for the Lloyd murder in June. Prosecutors made the request in papers filed Thursday in Bristol Superior Court, asking a judge to order the sheriff’s office to turn over the records.
The information, they said, will show that Hernandez used code words when talking with friends, and that he has talked about the allegation made by prosecutors that he orchestrated the murder of Lloyd in a North Attleborough industrial park on June 17. Lloyd was found shot to death.
Prosecutors said that those who have visited Hernandez inlcude his fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins, and cousin, Tanya Cummings Singleton, both of whom are facing charges themselves connected to the Lloyd homicide investigation.
“Both of these codefendants have been charged as accessories in the underlying offense of murder on the theory that they provided assistance to the defendant after the commission of that offense,’’ Bristol Assistant District Attorney Roger L Michel Jr. wrote in an affidavit supporting the request for tapes and records.
Michel also summarized the information prosecutors expect to glean once they get access to the recordings:
“During those conversations, the defendant has discussed the following matters directly relevant to the circumstances surrounding the murder of Odin Lloyd; viz: the defendant’s subjective belief about his criminal liability; his use of coded messages to communicate with persons outside of jail; related prior offenses; inculpatory denials of ownership of a vehicle connected with the investigation; the extent of his control over persons charged as accessories; other matters relating to his codefendants, including their whereabouts and likely criminal liability.’’
Bristol County prosecutors, Hernandez’s lead defense attorney, and the Bristol County sheriff’s department could not immediately be reached for comment.
Both detainees and the person they call are warned by the jail that their conversations are being recorded. Calls between Hernandez and his attorneys can not be used against him, but prosecutors do have the option of introducing any information gleaned from recordings of Hernandez’s conversations with others.
Prosecutors filed the court motion on the same day that Cummings Singleton posted $15,000 cash bail. She had remained behind bars for months, facing charges she helped Ernest Wallace — another alleged Hernandez accomplice — leave the state after Lloyd’s murder. Wesley Lowery can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @WesleyLowery.
John R. Ellement can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.