Investigators in the murder case against Aaron Hernandez interviewed New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and team owner Robert Kraft last summer, according to the latest court documents in the former player’s pending trial.
The interviews were part of a voluminous inventory of evidence that prosecutors have provided Hernandez’s defense team in the 2013 slaying of Odin Lloyd, whose body was found in an industrial yard near Hernandez’s North Attleborough home in June 2013.
The documents, released Monday, illustrate the broad scope of the inquiry and the steps that authorities have taken in the case.
Also Monday, a judge denied Hernandez’s motion to suppress all evidence obtained in a search of his home last June, which included his cellphone and video footage of his home.
“There has been no showing that the scope of the warrant was impermissibly broadened beyond the foundation of probable cause,” Judge E. Susan Garsh wrote in her decision. “Thus, Hernandez is not entitled to suppression of evidence obtained from the search of the digital video recorder and hard drive that were seized.”
Lawyers for Hernandez had argued the warrant was too broad because police did not have probable cause to seize video from inside his house. Prosecutors say video-surveillance footage and cellphone records tie Hernandez to the murder scene. Police also seized an iPhone, a Blackberry, and three iPads.
The discovery documents in the Lloyd case indicated the interviews with Kraft and Belichick were dated Aug. 20. Each ran four pages.
The evidence includes 33 pages of text messages between Belichick and Hernandez from February through May 2013. Investigators also interviewed Nick Caserio, the team’s director of player personnel, and Belichick’s assistant, Berj Najarian.
In addition, the evidence contains a three-page statement from Belichick and a one-page statement from Kraft, both filed last August. Authorities also searched the locker of a Patriots player, presumably Hernandez.
The contents of the interviews and text messages were not disclosed in the court filings.
Prosecutors declined to comment. A spokesman for the Patriots could not be reached for comment.
Last week, a lawyer for the Patriots said the organization would turn over 317 pages of Hernandez’s medical records to his defense team, but it does not want to release scouting reports or a psychological report prepared before the 2010 NFL draft. The Patriots selected Hernandez that year.
Hernandez, 24, is also charged with killing Daniel Abreu, 28, and Safiro Furtado, 29, in a drive-by shooting in the South End in July 2012. Authorities say Hernandez killed the men after one bumped into him at a Theatre District nightclub, causing him to spill his drink.
He has pleaded not guilty to the three murders. A lawyer for Hernandez, Charles Rankin, could not be reached for comment Monday.
As part of the discovery process in the Lloyd case, prosecutors said they have turned over to the defense almost 2,000 pages of grand jury minutes, a two-terabyte hard drive with raw data of surveillance videos from Hernandez’s home, and surveillance video from cameras from Boston to North Attleborough, where Lloyd’s body was found.
The documents state that prosecutors have disclosed any “promises, rewards, or inducements” made to witnesses.
John J. Connors, a lawyer for Carlos Ortiz, who has also been charged in Lloyd’s murder, said the disclosure was standard, and did not necessarily indicate that a defendant had agreed to testify against Hernandez for a lesser sentence.
“We haven’t made a deal,” he said.
Hernandez, Ortiz, and Ernest Wallace allegedly picked up Lloyd at his home early June 17 and drove him to the industrial yard, where Lloyd, 27, was shot multiple times.
Ortiz, 28, and Wallace, 42, were initially charged as accessories but in April were indicted on murder charges. Ortiz has no plans to testify against Hernandez, Connors said.