A Fall River judge ruled Tuesday that the mother and fiancée of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez can attend his upcoming murder trial, which is slated to begin Friday in a Fall River court, despite the possibility that they may be called to testify.
Hernandez, 25, is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting of 27-year-old Dorchester resident Odin Lloyd, who was shot execution-style on June 17, 2013 in an industrial park near Hernandez’s affluent North Attleboro neighborhood.
The former NFL tight end has pleaded not guilty to the charges. He has also pleaded not guilty to a separate murder case in which he allegedly shot dead two men outside a Boston nightclub in 2012 after a fight about a mixed drink. He will face a separate trial on those charges in Boston later this year.
Hernandez was in court Tuesday for a final pretrial hearing before jury selection begins Friday in the Lloyd case. It is expected to last roughly two weeks. The jury will be selected from a pool of over 1,000 potential jurors.
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Hernandez’s fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins, has pleaded not guilty to perjury.
Superior Court Judge Susan Garsh on Tuesday also approved a request by prosecutors to bring jurors to several cell phone towers. Prosecutors had argued that it is customary to show jurors locations from which calls were placed.
Governor Deval Patrick on Friday named a new district attorney to the Bristol County office that will prosecute Hernandez.
Thomas Quinn, who had been the county's first assistant district attorney, was promoted to acting district attorney, succeeding Sam Sutter, who resigned after being elected mayor of Fall River.