Judge Bans Patriots Gear from Hernandez Trial

Former New England Patriots NFL football player Aaron Hernandez attends an evidentiary hearing at Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River, Mass.
Former New England Patriots NFL football player Aaron Hernandez attends an evidentiary hearing at Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River, Mass. –AP

This past Friday, Bristol Superior Court Judge E. Susan Garsh filed a court order barring anyone wearing Patriots-themed clothing from entering the courthouse during the trial of former Patriots Tight End Aaron Hernandez.

Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder charge in the case of Odin Lloyd of Boston in 2013.

Judge Garsh’s order states, “No person wearing clothing, or a button or other object attached to clothing, or carrying an object that displays any Patriots or other NFL team logo, football-related insignia, or words and/or a photograph that relate in any way to this case will be permitted entry to the Fall River Justice Center during any phase of the trial.’’

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The order comes as part of an effort to set the ground rules for the public and media during court proceedings. Garsh feels this condition, along with the other 28 rules set out, will ensure the safety and well-being of all trial participants,’’ as well as “the dignity of the proceedings.’’

Among the other rules: Once a jury has been selected, nine seats in the courtroom will be alloted to the defendant’s friends and family, with nine going to the victim’s friends, family or advocates. Three seats will be allotted to cameramen, 20 to news media, and 20 to the public. All of these seats, along with overflow seats in the library, will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

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