FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — Eyewitness News legal analyst Robert Corrente has given us insight on important key moments the jurors will need to take into account as they continue their juror deliberations.
The moments that stick out
“There are several pieces of evidence that I think were more important than others. Obviously the shell casing with the blue bubble gum was an important piece, the surveillance tape with maybe Hernandez carrying the murder weapon I think was an important piece. And I think Robert Kraft’s testimony was important because it strongly suggested that Hernandez lied to him about what had happened,” said Corrente.
Lying to Robert Kraft
“It suggests that he knew something about what had gone on that he didn’t want to tell the truth about. It’s not a good sign,” he said.
- Complete Coverage: Aaron Hernandez murder trial
- Related: Things to know about deliberations in the Hernandez trial
Testimony that was not allowed
“Judge Garsh had to sort through an awful lot of proposed testimony that she had to make a determination on as to whether or not it was relevant as to whether it was overly prejudicial and all different kinds of rules of evidence that she has to apply. I’m sure there is material that both sides wished that she had allowed, in that, they weren’t allowed to get into. I think one of the notable ones from the prosecution’s side was they wanted to send the substance of the text message just before the shootings happened ‘just so you know I’m with NFL’ or something to that effect. She ruled that was heresay and didn’t let it in,” he said.
Shayanna Jenkins testimony
“Well, she was in a funny position because remember she had been immunized against the perjury charge that had been filed against her. She sat on Hernandez’s side of the courtroom, she seemed to stay in contact with him and have some interaction with him during the trial, but if anything I think her testimony hurt him more than it helped him because she did admit that yes, she had gotten rid of a box at his direction which is very suspicious. 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,” he said.
Will Jenkins still face perjury charges?
“It would depend on the immunity charge, based on, the way it ordinarily works, is she cannot be prosecuted based on her testimony at this trial so that removes any fifth amendment, self-incrimination possibility. You’d have to see the actual agreement to determine what, or how the agreement applies to the charge based on her previous grand jury testimony,” he said.
How crucial is the jury field trip?
“I think in a case like this where there are so many pictures being drawn for the jury, mental pictures being drawn for the jury, about where everybody was and what it looked like, and how far away things were, in that kind of a case, the view that the jury was taken on I think can be very helpful for them just to understand how things fit together, it’s a commonplace thing. I think it was an appropriate case here to take the jury on a view,” he said.
Lloyd’s mother could not cry in court
“It’s a very difficult balancing act for the judge because obviously this is a very emotionally charged case and she has to understand that and understand that you’re dealing with human beings here both in witnesses and spectators, but by the same token she has an obligation to make sure that Mr. Hernandez gets a fair trial. That the trial is not influenced unduly, so by passion and prejudice and all those other kinds of things, so she needs to keep things on a very stoic level during the trial which is sometimes easier said than done,” he said.
Why did the defense say Hernandez was at the murder scene in closing arguments?
“If I had to guess, and all this is a guess, if I had to guess I’d say the defense really wasn’t sure that it was going to take that tack, wasn’t sure if it was going to have to take that tack, but when it got to the end of the trial it looked back at what had come into evidence and said that there was too much evidence there putting him at the scene. Let’s just admit that, take all that off the table, not fight that fight, and let’s just say that ‘yes, he was at the scene’ but let’s emphasize the fact that nobody knows what happened once he was at the scene. Let’s just drive that home and say for all we know it could’ve been a crazy PCP induced murder carried out by another. There’s no evidence of that, but the lawyer just kind of put that out there in his closing argument trying to create a reasonable doubt in the minds of the jurors,” he said.
More evidence than most cases
“Well, because you don’t have an eyewitness, and because your case is 100% circumstantial here, it was incumbent on the prosecutors to take every little piece of the mosaic and put it in place to try and create that picture. And it’s a very long and painstaking process that they wouldn’t have had to go through if say they had flipped one of the other two people who had come in and testified here’s what happened when we’re all at the gravel pit,” he said.
Shaneah Jenkins testimony
“You almost couldn’t have a stranger family dynamic when you have an actual murder case with two sisters on opposite sides of the aisle. This was an already complicated case with a lot of different twists and turns and the fact that these two women were at odds during the trial with each other was just extraordinary,” he said.
Did prosecution prove a motive?
“Certainly there was a lot of evidence of a plan. There’s evidence of the calls being made to Dorchester, the trip being made to go pick him up, the shot of him getting into the car, they have Hernandez at the gas station on the way back, they tracked the cell phone all the way back down. So there’s a lot of planning that went into this, that’s not necessarily the same thing as motive. Motive evidence was pretty thin. Obviously there was some thin evidence also on the issue of the murder weapon, you know, maybe this surveillance video shows him with a weapon, maybe it’s something else. 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,” he said.
The nanny’s testimony
“I don’t think it’s going to be very important. I think that if nothing else, anybody who watched the evidence closely in this case came away thinking that Aaron Hernandez was not a real likable character. That he has some real anger issues and is a pretty tough guy to like at the end of this trial. So the fact that the nanny came in and said something about doing something distasteful, I don’t think it added much to the mix,” he said.