BOSTON (Reuters) – A judge has thrown out some electronic evidence in a murder case against former National Football League star Aaron Hernandez because of a paperwork problem, according to local media reports on Tuesday.
Bristol County Superior Court Judge Susan Garsh said evidence from two smartphones and three tablets seized last year from Hernandez’s home in North Attleboro, Massachusetts, could not be used in his trial for the murder of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd because they were not listed in a police search warrant, according to the reports.
“The Court attributes the omission to carelessness on the part of [State Police] and not to any loss of interest by law enforcement in seizing the items,” Garsh wrote in the decision, according to the Boston Globe.
Hernandez’s defense team had asked that the evidence be thrown out. Evidence from other devices, including another smart phone and the home’s surveillance system will be allowed because they were listed in the warrant, according to the reports.
Prosecutors say Hernandez and two associates shot Lloyd to death in an industrial park near Hernandez’s house in June 2013. Hernandez is also facing murder charges in an unrelated Boston double-murder in 2012. He has pleaded not guilty in both cases.
Hernandez was a star tight end for the New England Patriots before the team released him in June 2013, hours after his arrest for Lloyd’s murder.
(Reporting by Richard Valdmanis; Editing by Sandra Maler)
[Image: Former NFL player Aaron Hernandez attends a hearing in Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River, Massachusetts on July 22, 2014. REUTERS/CJ Gunther/Pool]