Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez, who stands accused in three murders, is asking a judge to move him from the Bristol County jail to another county jail closer to Boston.
Hernandez says he needs to be moved because he faces murder trials in both Bristol and Suffolk counties and, in order for his Boston-based lawyers to effectively assist him, he needs to be in a jail that’s closer to them.
“In order for Hernandez to receive constitutionally-guaranteed effective access to and assistance of counsel, in both cases, he needs to be held in a facility that does not require his counsel to drive from two, up to three to four hours round-trip each time they need to meet with him,” Hernandez‘s lawyers said in a motion filed in Bristol Superior Court.
Hernandez is also claiming that while he’s been held at the Bristol jail he has been subjected to “unreasonable restrictions” on his ability to confer with his counsel.
Hernandez “cannot always speak privately over the telephone to his attorneys,” the motion said, “and his in-person attorney visits are generally subject to a bizarre and unprecedented restriction that limits their location to one specially-designated visitation room.”
Hernandez also claims Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson had “joined forces” with Bristol District Attorney C. Samuel Sutter to bring criminal charges against him based on two alleged incidents in the jailhouse — an attack on a fellow inmate and threats to a correction officer.
The defense motion also lashed out at Hodgson, claiming the sheriff was using Hernandez’s presence at the North Dartmouth jail for “self-promotion and virtually non-stop publicity” that could “poison the potential jury pool.”
A spokesman for Sheriff Hodgson didn’t immediately have a comment.
Ashley Bendiksen, a spokeswoman for Sutter, said the office didn’t immediately have a response, but would be filing one in court at a later date.
Hernandez faces murder charges in Suffolk County in the double slaying of Daniel J. DeAbreu, 29, and Safiro Furtado, 28, in Boston’s South End in July 2012. Prosecutors say Hernandez shot the men after becoming angry that one of them bumped into him while dancing at a nightclub, causing Hernandez to spill his drink.
Hernandez also faces a murder charge in Bristol County in the June 2013 murder in North Attleborough of Odin Lloyd, 27, of Boston.
His legal troubles don’t stop there. Hernandez faces civil wrongful death lawsuits brought by the families of his alleged murder victims as well as a lawsuit brought by a former friend who alleges Hernandez shot him in the face in February 2013 in Florida.
Two other former Hernandez friends face murder charges with him in the Odin Lloyd slaying. Hernandez’s fiancee and cousin also face lesser charges stemming from the Lloyd murder investigation.
Hernandez’s precipitous fall from wealthy young gridiron star to alleged murderer of three people has fascinated the public and generated headlines.