A judge on Tuesday shot down a motion to restrict the defense and prosecution from speaking publicly about Aaron Hernandez’s case for a 2012 double murder in Boston, according to a report.
Hernandez’s defense attorneys last week formally requested a gag order for all parties as a means to “safeguard against prejudicial pretrial publicity.”
In justifying his ruling, Judge Jeffrey Locke reportedly referenced Hernandez’s other murder case involving the death of Odin Lloyd, saying that there was no gag order in that case until stories surfaced with “unnamed sources.”
Judge Locke went on to express his confidence in the case’s prosecutors to comply with ethical rules for prosecutors, reported The Boston Globe.
“The Court is satisfied that the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office is aware of and operates consistent with the restrictions imposed by the Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct, rendering a detailed order regarding extrajudicial statements unnecessary at this time,’’ Locke wrote.
Hernandez’s lawyers reportedly argued that “media attention in this case is virtually unprecedented,” but Judge Locke was apparently undaunted.
Hernandez was indicted in May by a grand jury on two charges of first-degree murder in the killings of Daniel Abreu and Safiro Furtado, who were shot to death on July 16, 2012 while stopped at a traffic light.
Prosecutors say one of the men accidentally bumped Hernandez inside a nightclub, spilling his drink. Hernandez is alleged to have driven around afterward until he found the men, pulling up next to their car at a red light before fatally shooting them and wounding a third.
Hernandez is tentatively scheduled to stand trial for those charges on May 28, 2015.
In the other murder case, the former star player for the New England Patriots has pleaded not guilty to killing Odin Lloyd, of Dorchester, in June of last year.Follow Bruce Wright on Twitter @bctw or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.