Defense lawyers for Aaron Hernandez are opposing a request from prosecutors for recordings of phone calls that the former New England Patriots star has made from jail while awaiting trial on murder and weapons charges.
“The Commonwealth predicates its sweeping request for recordings of all of [Hernandez’s] past, present, and future phone calls on information about the alleged content of some of his prior calls generously passed on to the District Attorney by officials at the jail,” defense attorneys wrote in a court filing made public today.
The defense team added that the purported content of the calls is “obviously hearsay.”
“In short, this is clearly the kind of fishing expedition prohibited by” applicable case law, the filing said. “There is absolutely no basis to provide the Commonwealth with access to all of the defendant’s recorded phone calls, past, present, and future.”
The defense also opposed a request by prosecutors for jail visitor logs for Hernandez.
Hernandez, 24, has pleaded not guilty to murder and weapons charges in the slaying of Odin L. Lloyd, 27, a Dorchester man whose bullet-riddled body was found near the athlete’s North Attleborough home last June.
Hernandez is being held without bail at the Bristol County House of Correction in Dartmouth.
In a motion filed by a prosecutor on Thursday to obtain the recordings and other items, the government alleged that Hernandez has been speaking with visitors about his “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.’’
The prosecutor said the Bristol sheriff’s office had “voluntarily provided” information on the contents of some of Hernandez’s conversations.Travis Andersen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.