Ex-NFL star Hernandez wants double-murder indictment thrown out

Mon Aug 10, 2015 6:55pm EDT
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By Jacqueline Tempera

BOSTON (Reuters) - Lawyers for former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez, who is serving a life sentence for killing an acquaintance in 2013, have filed a motion to quash a separate double-murder indictment, according to court filings unsealed on Monday.

In a motion filed in July, Hernandez's defense team says law enforcement officials sought a search warrant based on information from Carlos Ortiz, a friend of Hernandez, who failed a lie detector test following his statement to police.

Prosecutors allege that in July 2012, Hernandez followed Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado from a downtown Boston nightclub in an SUV after de Abreu bumped into him and spilled his drink. The prosecution says Hernandez retrieved a revolver from his vehicle and fatally shot the two men while their car was stopped at a red light.

"The affidavit supporting the issuance of that search warrant relied extensively upon information provided by Carlos Ortiz," lawyers wrote in the motion. "The affidavit deliberately omitted the fact that Ortiz failed a polygraph examination administered at the conclusion of his police interview."

Hernandez was sentenced in April to life in prison for the fatal June 2013 shooting of Lloyd Odin, a semiprofessional football player who had been dating his fiancee's sister. Ortiz, who prosecutors say was with Hernandez when he killed Odin, has also been charged in Odin's death.

Police used information from their interview with Ortiz over Odin's murder to obtain a search warrant for a 2006 Toyota 4Runner, believed to have been driven in the 2012 slayings. Lawyers are seeking to have that evidence thrown out.

"Absent reliance upon this inherently untrustworthy source, the affidavit ... clearly failed to establish probable cause" for the search, lawyers said.

Hernandez, 25, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder, three counts of armed assault with intent to murder and an additional count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. He is scheduled to stand trial in December.   Continued...

Former New England Patriots football player Aaron Hernandez  in Fall River, Massachusetts April 1, 2015.   REUTERS/Brian Snyder