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Bill Belichick dodges Aaron Hernandez text message questions

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick refused to discuss the 34 text messages he exchanged with former player Aaron Hernandez that came to light in a court proceeding last week.

“That was addressed by a lawyer last week, and I don’t have any further comment on it,” he said Wednesday during his first training camp news conference.

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After the first question about the text messages, a reporter asked three follow-ups. Belichick responded with “no comment” to all three.

The series of text messages surfaced last week in court documents related to the former player’s murder trial, but Wednesday was the media’s first opportunity to ask Belichick about it. The Patriots begin training camp practices on Thursday.

Bristol County prosecutors first said they had 33 pages of text messages, though last Friday the Patriots clarified that information to say the pair had exchanged just 34 messages.

“Earlier this week, a report indicated that an exchange of text messages between the team’s head coach and Mr. Hernandez totaled 33 pages,” a lawyer for the team, Andrew Phelan, wrote in a statement. “While it is unknown how the texts were printed or displayed, I thought it was important to clarify that during an early investigation conducted by state prosecutors, the team produced a total of 34 text messages, not pages of texts.”

The Patriots said the text messages were exchanged between December 2012 and April 2013. Prosecution said the messages were sent between February and May 2013. The contents of the text conversations were not disclosed.

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