The gag order in the murder case against former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez isn’t going anywhere.
On Monday, Supreme Judicial Court Justice Fernande R.V. Duffly upheld the gag order previously imposed by Bristol Superior Court Judge E. Susan Garsh to continue to apply to both the prosecution and defense, as reported by the Boston Globe.
According to the Associated Press, Bristol District Attorney C. Samuel Sutter had challenged the gag order, but Duffly found that it doesn’t interfere with the prosecutors’ case and if they want, they can go back to Judge Garsh if they have a future problem regarding the stipulation.
“The Commonwealth has shown nothing but speculative future harm should it or the defendant make, or determine there is a need to make, an extrajudicial statement concerning some as yet to be determined event,’’ Duffly wrote Monday, as reported by the Boston Globe. “The order does not apply to potential trial witnesses, places no restraints on the media or on public access to any courtroom proceeding, and does not involve attorney discipline for violation of the rules of professional conduct.”
Defense attorneys requested the gag order as they accused Massachusetts's prosecutors of allowing leaks and prejudicial out-of-court statements that would affect their client's chance at a fair trial.
The former Pro Bowl tight end is being held without bail after pleading not guilty on a first-degree murder charge that alleges that he ordered the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd. Lloyd, a 27-year-old Boston man who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancée, was last seen getting into a car with Hernandez and two other men.
Last month, the Bristol County Sheriff announced that they have filed a complaint to charge Hernandez with assault and battery for his role in a fight with another prison inmate on February 24. Hernandez is also simultaneously being investigated for his alleged role in a double homicide of two men in South Boston in 2012.
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(Photo: REUTERS/Jonathan Wiggs/Boston Globe/Pool)