FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — The defense and prosecution in one of the murder cases against former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez will have a few more months to prepare for trial.
During a status hearing Tuesday morning at Fall River Superior Court, the trial date was pushed back to January 2015. The case was initially set to go to trial on October 6.
Judge Susan Garsh set Jan. 9 as the day for jury selection to begin, in which potential jurors will come in to fill out questionnaires. According to Gregg Miliote, a spokesman for the Bristol County district attorney’s office, the goal is to bring in 1,000 prospective jurors in three days.
Miliote estimates opening arguments will then begin in mid-January.
Hernandez is facing first-degree murder charges in Bristol County in connection with the killing semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd. Lloyd’s body was found in June 2013 near Hernandez’s North Attleboro home.
He’s also facing separate charges in Suffolk County in connection with a 2012 double murder in Boston. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to all three killings.
During Tuesday’s hearing, attorney’s suggested that media access to jury selection should be limited, and told the court they may ask for extra challenges to allow them to eliminate prospective jurors without cause.
On Monday, Hernandez’s lawyers filed a motion protesting that live broadcasts of two previous hearings in the court showed private conversations between Hernandez and his lawyers. The attorneys said the broadcast of the conversations violates state court rules for electronic recording of court proceedings.
The judge Tuesday started the proceedings with a reminder to the media that no sidebar or attorney/client conversations should be recorded.
Hernandez is due back in court August 11 for a hearing in his defense team’s motion to suppress evidence in the Lloyd case. Much of the suppression request was denied, such as Hernandez’s home surveillance and cell phone data, but this hearing is a continuation involving smaller portions of the request.