NEW BEDFORD — A judge put a hold Thursday on Aaron Hernandez's mansion in North Attleborough while a wrongful death lawsuit is pending against the former New England Patriots player.
Judge Richard T. Moses issued the order in Bristol Superior Court at the request of the family of Odin Lloyd, the 27-year-old Dorchester man that Hernandez is charged with killing.
The action effectively bars Hernandez from selling the sprawling $1.26 million house before the lawsuit is resolved, because it could be used to pay a judgment. The Lloyd family filed the suit Monday.
Hernandez, 24, has pleaded not guilty to murder and weapons charges in connection with the June 17 slaying of Lloyd. He is being held without bail.
Charles Rankin, a lawyer representing Hernandez in the criminal case, did not object to Moses's order, but asked that his client be permitted to revisit the matter at a later date when he retains counsel for the lawsuit. Moses granted that request during the brief hearing.
The lawsuit also seeks to block the Patriots from paying more than $3.25 million to Hernandez that the NFL Players Association, his former union, contends he is owed. The family argues that the money, which is the subject of a pending union grievance, could instead be awarded to Lloyd's estate as part of a legal judgment.
Andrew Phelan, a lawyer for the Patriots, told Moses Thursday that the team maintains it does not owe Hernandez any money.
Phelan and a lawyer for the Lloyd family, Kevin Phelan, who are not releated, confirmed during the hearing that they have reached an agreement in which the team will not pay any additional funds to Hernandez and, in exchange, will be dropped as a defendant in the lawsuit. Under the terms of the agreement, the Patriots will notify the court if the union prevails in its grievance.
All the lawyers involved in Thursday's hearing left court without commenting.
Lloyd's family is seeking unspecified monetary compensation; court records indicate they could be entitled to millions if their claim is successful.
Several of Hernandez's associates have pleaded not guilty to lesser criminal charges in connection with the Lloyd's killing, which prosecutors have described as an execution.
Hernandez's lawyers have repeatedly called the case against their client weak and have said they expect him to be cleared.
Hernandez also faces a lawsuit in Florida, where Alexander Bradley, a former associate, alleges that Hernandez shot him in the face in February. Hernandez has declined to respond to the allegations in court papers, asserting his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
Travis Andersen can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.