Jun 27, 2013|
We talk with Suffolk Law Professor and former defense attorney Chris Dearborn to try and get the perspective of a defense attorney about the mounting evidence, circumstantial as it may be, implicating Aaron Hernandez in the murder of Odin Lloyd.
Transcript - will not be 100% accurate
I'm not confident the fact that this individual would. I guess is that -- capable. And the idea that I can -- the bracelet and be with him what rules. Is not something that I -- that. In all the circumstances and things despite the fact that it had. You know say -- -- in the -- where he also happens to lose. The bracelet wouldn't you. What to do it -- And it. A Superior Court Judge Renee do we who denied bail second time now for Aaron Hernandez two straight days. He has been denied bail soccer hall here on WEEI WEEI dot com as well. Chris Dearborn joins us he is a professor at the Suffolk law school. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- As you as you listened yesterday to the the extensively. Laid out case made by the prosecution. Was obviously just an arraignment not a full trial -- what was your reaction. At at first blush. It was a it was a pretty convincing data details but when you're sort of peel the onion a little bit. It is at this point only circumstantial evidence and and it's anybody's guess whether the case is gonna get stronger or weaker. But there is there's no direct evidence yet and and that may be a problem at some point for the prosecution. I think the judge made a reference to it today stuff but the circumstantial evidence being strong can you have a case. And your opinion when you go all the way through. And you think you have a strong case but it's all circumstantial is that is that a wedding case war the prosecution. You know it can be. But at the same time and you know most jurors wanna I wanna I wanna know more and what they can lay out now what they can actually prove it trial may be two different things so one of my concerns about this is. Is what happens with all these kind of high profile cases -- people sort of passing judgment too quickly. And I think people -- let things play out a little bit I'm glad they wanna do is not give him that the right process and and procedure. And have a jury pool that's completely infected I mean these cases are really difficult. From from a media perspective because they're so high profile. But if you -- -- on trial would want a -- they can be objective and look at the evidence. One of his lawyers came out on Monday night I was very critical of the media was critical of the rumors and innuendo that work. Going around about Aaron Hernandez and so that statement was Monday night and he was. Arrested on Wednesday morning what do you think the the intention was for the attorney. But it's of two released as to what what do you think you're trying to gain there. You know I don't know I mean you wanna look at it from a tactical standpoint it was probably trying to. Educate the public at that point there was a lot of misinformation. And innuendo. And and that's sort of the first impressions of people gathered in first impressions stick. So I don't know if there was any specific tactical. Decision making behind that other than. Try to ensure that things are being treated fairly in the media. But with with that said there are some misinformation that the story was he was going to be. He was going to be arrested and it was going to be obstruction of justice of in this information actually. If his client a favor the misinformation was was way lower than what the actual target to. I guess I would concede that that the airport but at the same time there was a lot of misinformation about. Background information other. Shootings and other is a civil case it was filed. An and that a lot we're gonna learn about this case over the next few months that we don't know yet. And I think it's a valid point to try that -- people put on the breaks a little bit intellectually. And let things play out. How could the case get weaker or stronger he's that we may find out that it gets weaker we may find -- -- gets stronger. What sort of things would make it weaker or stronger. I'm having witnesses -- more direct evidence. I'm having better forensic information mean that they'll swallow the forensic stuff is at this point it may be too early for any forensic material and process. So for example right now they don't have a murder weapon. We don't know about what other forensic testing whether it ballistics or DNA. On do we know that do we know that they don't have to murder weapon or do we know that they didn't show it during the arraignment. -- That's an interesting question I I don't think they when they had that back home so my my my best guess right now is that they don't have a murder weapon. But I have been wrong before. And how how much it just just tell us how the process where some you've been involved in I'm not necessarily case just like this -- been involved in these cases. Before how much how much are our people willing to show or they typically showing. Had an arraignment is it is a prosecution giving you 60% of what it has 80% typically a 100%. Well I think it's hard to quantify but I I mean I think it's probably safe to assume that we haven't heard everything that people know yet. And some of that tactical Soledad some com. About the hold that the secrecy of grand jury investigation. And elevated maybe they don't wanna play cards that they can't corroborate yet. Because if they play card and and ends up not being accurate. That may be what resonates rather than the fact that they've they've played a card too early. He said. That that the EU we want you don't want a poison the jury pool. Then why allow yesterday's hearing could be public. The SharePoint. You know the general presumption is that is that -- that courtrooms are open to the public and I think. That both bat sixth amendment right to the defendant. To have an open and public trial on the first amendment rights for everybody else. A really important constitutional principles I think what you did -- happen at the end of that hearing was. A very narrow gag order was put in place I think with the intention of of trying to not pollute the jury pool. But but we see plenty of other trials right where people aren't allowed in the courtroom right that sketch artists -- the cameras I mean. I -- -- if I don't I don't pretend to be an expert but I've seen that before right why not yet why wouldn't they have done that yesterday. That's that's the exception not the rule and we have a very strong history in Massachusetts of honoring that sort of public trial rights. Which as a kid comes from two different perspectives the first is. This hit them right for the defendant to have an open and public trial and then the first amendment rights apply -- you would mean every. Who will cool cool who is worried about the polluted. Jury pool is it the is it the defense or is that the prosecution. -- -- the defense wouldn't wouldn't they be very quick to say while it's all wave that sixth amendment right to a -- -- -- public trial if it's going to hurt us. That's not something you would you would even consider waiting at this point first offense and second I think everybody. Should be concerned about that. I think you and I should be concerned about it I think both the prosecution essentially concerned about it. Chris I said yesterday -- yesterday and today one of the things that is jumping out at me is I am not sure it's not clear. I called pull the trigger. The prosecution says that Aaron Hernandez orchestrated this -- accused in in their words does it matter. Well who pulled the trigger in terms of sentencing. It might it might matter in terms of whether a lesser included charges deal -- in the can be proved beyond a reasonable doubt I mean you can you can BA. What's called the joint venture. Under Massachusetts law and not be the person that's important records and still be convicted. But -- same time if if you're not the person pulled the trigger there may be some very are compelling argument be made so in other words we don't know yet. Who did what who participated what level what level plane that may mean at a game. Who were present and -- actually participated and I'm assuming we're gonna learn a lot more about some of these things as it moves forward. What would be the case for -- what what's the best case for forgetting -- on -- yesterday. One of his one of Aaron Hernandez is attorneys talked about him being a homeowner were in and you know father and got a fiance and he's not gonna he's not gonna -- It was denied yesterday was denied today what. What what case can be made for -- -- Jamaica. I mean I think they've hit on the points that are that are that are relevant and and you know I'm not surprised that the decision today or yesterday because that is really the culture and because. Judges don't wanna be -- one release is somebody goes out and and and commits another crime but -- her -- is presumed to be innocent and I thought. The most -- arguments they made on behalf of release on bail. We're not affect the ties were not the fact that. He had a child and the homeowner those are all relevant. No prior criminal record like this and then the single most important factor was that they had reached out -- the DA's office leading up to this and and it worked. -- is coming our office this awareness. He's around he's not going anywhere so I'm and that may have been -- but it was also I think significant in terms of assessing that the relevance of flight. I I. Disagree with a lot of pundits right now I don't think there is a big issue of risk of flight in this case. For two reasons one I think the proof is in the -- and two. Where a guy like this going ride without being caught. I mean and and if you do flee under these sort of circumstances. That your evidence of like in and be used against -- trial which is really powerful evidence. But then when you look at it and say -- idea of what you just said is true and even if there had been the conversations at a time about coming in turning himself then he's right here. But who different judges not one but -- two different judges have looked at the evidence that the prosecution. Has put forward and said it is so strong that. -- outweighs that. In a real life can can disagree I disagree I think the presumption of innocence -- to carry the day at some point. If -- along prior record if he tried to flee before the arrest. Then then I that it would be a -- dog he should be held about dale but he didn't do any of those so I think there is. Compelling argument that he that he should have been released on -- really -- AL but lots of conditions GPS monitoring. I think there are a lot of commission they could be imposed and are -- it's not unheard of four people charged with first murder in Massachusetts to be released. On condition. But didn't the judge say yesterday just as you say you're right obviously that there's a presumption of innocence until proven guilty but the judge also said yesterday very clearly that being guaranteed bail was by no means a certainty in this. Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Well what he's static thinking that the presumption of personal recognizance and applied to all other cases doesn't apply to murder case right legally on that. On these very right on that and that's because it's a more serious charge but that doesn't mean that there at the discretion to rely on the statutory factors. To rely on on what the -- plus set about -- and still set a bail. I mean. Frankly it would have been. You know really courageous act for a judge to release him I mean with all this attention and in high profile nature of the case. Courageous but correct is that correct it be courageous collateral to be courageous to be bold. Decades you I -- my bias on my sleeve I'll be obligated -- -- but I think I think we're what is your bars I'm a career criminal defense lawyer and I believe in the process more than anything else and I believe in the presumption of innocence. I think it would have been the right decision but legal mind can disagree. Oh we ask -- this -- -- do you think it this factored into it okay let's go look -- -- presumed innocent that's the the the system the justice system in this country. But do you think that the actions of Aaron Hernandez. May have given the judge some pause -- do you think about. Smashing. The home security system had a smashing the so don't look we'll destroying home security system and now trying to destroy the cellphone. You think those things. Make a judge say aren't alone. -- know he's he's per behaving a little are radically your suspiciously. Something's going on here. You know it's interesting and those those specific points were articulated. And -- judge doesn't have to do. I'll lay out all the reasons that are there only somebody I'll bail holding somebody without bail. But you can make a good argument that if that suggest what the judges -- -- -- -- -- so. If -- his defense lawyer. And you you're now pretty much done with the possibility of bail what is the first thing you would be doing for Aaron Hernandez now how would you start to build your defense for him. But I can answer the first question first they -- it -- completely over yet on bail so that they have others also have the ability to appeal. Directly to that supreme judicial court that they'll release. And that that uncommon -- -- -- -- but it's not unprecedented. And then when they when he gets -- in the superior court after her the grand jury process. On many also have and the right to be heard on bail again and that hearing would be completely de Novo in other words that that judge to start from scratch. Okay so once you get beyond the bail part of that what how do you start to actually build your defense case form. I think investigation and discovery investigation is getting out talking to witnesses getting access to whatever material you can. Com try to start researching the law on possible defenses and then discoveries the other big piece in discovery an alliance is materials at the other side actually give you. And so the problem is right now they're gonna be a little stalled on the discovery process. Because they'll be depending grand jury investigation. And the district attorney's office won't give over a lot of materials but there's going to be a lot of reports note statements forensic evidence. Pictures it's better it's better. And who knows what that apple brains of getting all that stuff is really important start assessing what you wanna do next. All right before we let your guard has not to mention one thing now the defense did not mention. -- -- the prosecution did not mention the destroyed home security system nor did they mention the -- they did point out or however and Aaron Hernandez was seen. On his. -- a security system walking around the house with a gun. After this the shooting took place idea that's that's kind of that's pretty damning evidence is going to be pretty tough still allow him out on bail knowing that these things happen. It took airport it was airport. -- but remember what you can talk about now what's actually admissible trial maybe two very different things. That's another word that they can't directly connect I've gotten to this case I think that the fans love a good argument to keep that. Aspect of the surveillance footage out of the trial. Because going to be interesting to follow as they were goes from here hackers Dearborn. Kind of take a few minutes with us a professor of law at Suffolk university and as he said he -- -- defense attorney Chris thanks so much we appreciate it -- -- -- via the -- the AT&T hotline. I'm. I think in listening to it very clear he said he wears is biased on the sleeve he is a defense attorney to he approaches things from that angle but it's I think the kind of offer a pair as. The opposite side whereas most people are ready to go OK this guy is guilty and and the case sounded locked tight airtight. He offers a different perspective on an -- and shows you ways in which a defense. May start to pick apart it's okay yet and you may have pictures you may have video me with a gun he sure it's begun to even though you and I know it. Even though everybody out there who's seen in the public knows it does never actually get allowed into -- court so will the jury. -- get to know about that. This is why YouTube. That's -- your hands and knees to pray for good jury because. If somebody's making that argument and back I can -- different attorneys make an argument though -- -- we've got a gun. But is it the gun that's really matter -- matter. What about the coincidence the amazing coincidence -- taking place. So to -- from his house. What surveillance cameras caught him on camera. Dropping to this industrial park. And there was a body care. A murder took place they're not sure he better not but. It was a murder this industrial productivity of mayors are Cecil can big -- now they'll never know about it and he goes back to his house and just happened to be walking around maybe about Whitney with a gun at 330 -- effect. -- -- I don't -- all I do that all the time I may never hear about the gun that would point what I can't sleep at 330. I walked around how all the. What you don't what you said makes perfect sense and if in if the gun an image of of him on the video is allowed in court finally here and say there is their ways to get things like that thrown out to the beat the jury never knows about that apartment. 617779793. Said he has to react. To what you heard there from Chris Dearborn the defense attorney my guess is you're not wild about what you heard soccer -- WEEI.