Still no Hernandez verdict after 35 hours of deliberations

Legal analyst: Fiancée's testimony could hurt Hernandez more than help him

Former New England Patriots football player Aaron Hernandez listens during his trial on Monday, April 13, 2015, in Fall River, Mass. (Ted Fitzgerald/The Boston Herald via AP, Pool)

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — After deliberating for about 35 hours, the jury in the murder trial of Aaron Hernandez has yet to settle on a verdict.

Little more than wardrobes changed Tuesday morning when jurors returned to the Fall River Justice Center for their sixth day of deliberations. Judge E. Susan Garsh once again confirmed that jurors had not been influenced in any way regarding the case, then sent them off to continue working towards a verdict.

The panel of 12 must decide, based on evidence and witness testimony, whether or not Hernandez murdered Odin Lloyd, and whether or not he unlawfully possessed a firearm and ammunition.

The jury could reach a verdict for some, but not all of the charges. There’s no way to know how things are going in the jury room, but we know jurors have not asked the judge any questions about the murder charge Hernandez faces.

On Monday, the jury asked Judge Garsh if they could take regular smoke breaks, and before that only two other questions regarding the firearms charges.

While the wait continues for a verdict, Eyewitness News Legal Analyst Robert Corrente explained at this point, we can’t read into anything by the jury. There’s more than 400 pieces of evidence and three charges the jury is considering.

According to Eyewitness News Legal Analyst Robert Corrente, the field trip the jury took to Hernandez’s home and the scene where Odin Lloyd’s body was found, was important for the jury to visually connect many of the individual photographs presented as evidence.

Corrente said the photograph of the shell casing with the blue bubblegum and the surveillance video the defense claims shows Hernandez holding a gun, really sticks out in his mind.

He explained the prosecution has had to present essentially a mosaic of evidence; pieces that suggest there was a plan behind Lloyd’s murder. But, he said that’s all very different from identifying a motive.

“But to me the biggest problem in the case of the prosecution, is that they can introduce all kinds of evidence of how these people fit together and what happened that night and all the plans, and all the preliminaries, but when everybody finally gets to the scene, and three or five minutes go by and shots go off, you don’t have anybody who can paint that picture for the jury and that’s a tough sell.”

On Monday, Hernandez’s fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins, sat in the front row all day. It suggests she is standing by Hernandez, but her testimony on the stand could leave a different impact.

Corrente said he thinks her testimony may have hurt Hernandez, rather than help him.

“She did admit that yes, she had gotten rid of a box at his direction which is very suspicious,” Corrente explained. “And I think that her testimony where she can’t remember where she dumped it is hard for anybody to believe. I think that’s a detail that she’s probably never going to forget.”

Jenkins was given immunity to take the stand, but still faces a purgery charge for reportedly lying to the grand jury.

If Hernandez is acquitted of the charges, he is not leaving jail. He is being held without bail after being charged in a 2012 double killing in Boston. He has pleaded not guilty to those charges.

Count on Eyewitness News to bring you the verdict as soon as one has been reached. We’ll bring you live coverage on and on WPRI 12.

Download our app or sign up for emails alerts to let you know when the verdict is announced.

Eyewitness News reporters Susan Campbell and Brian Yocono are live tweeting from court, updating followers about what’s happening. Follow them on Twitter: @BrianYocono @S_E_Campbell

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