Former NFL player Aaron Hernandez appeared in court Thursday afternoon for a 10-minute hearing after he was indicted in a June murder he was charged with committing.
The former New England Patriots tight end entered Attleboro District Court at 2 p.m., wearing a black blazer. He mouthed “I love you” to someone sitting in the courtroom.
Hernandez, 23, was charged in June with the murder of Odin Lloyd, a semi-pro football player whose bullet-riddled body was found in an industrial area near Hernandez’s home in North Attleborough, Mass.
Hernandez pleaded not guilty to six criminal counts, including murder and weapons charges tied to Lloyd’s death. A lawyer for Hernandez has called the prosecution’s case circumstantial.
The defense team suggested that public prosecutors committed “serious prosecutorial misconduct,” and requested the judge to “clarify and reconfirm” a gag order that was previously set in district court in June that prohibits prosecutors from offering public commentary on the allegations.
“…Because we are very concerned that Mr. Hernandez’s right to a fair trial not be further undermined gained by some explosion of District Attorney’s office,” said Hernandez’s attorney James Sultan.
Prosecutors denied any wrongdoing and said they had not been informed of the defense’s concern until they stepped into the courtroom. The judge said the gag order would continue to be upheld.
Hernandez was cut from the Patriots on June 26, shortly after police arrested him for purportedly orchestrating the execution-style murder.
Lloyd, 27, had been dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancée.
His next court date is set for next Friday.