The judge in Aaron Hernandez's Bristol County murder trial has thrown out a slew of evidence in the case.
Judge Susan Garsh did not mince words when she criticized the way a trooper applied for search warrants on behalf of Commonwealth investigators, she says without demonstrating the required probable cause.
"There are no facts in the affidavit that tie either Mr. Hernandez or Mr. Ortiz in any way to the killing of Mr. Lloyd," Judge Garsh said.
Garsh threw out all challenged evidence found in a Franklin, Massachusetts, apartment rented by Hernandez and inside a Hummer parked at that apartment, including co-defendant Carlos Ortiz's cell phone and several boxes of ammunition, some of which match the gun investigators allege was used to shoot and kill Odin Lloyd. The murder weapon itself has never been found.
"A magistrate cannot consider matters that have been aired publicly in the media for example to establish a probable cause," Garsh said.
The Commonwealth did not challenge these motions by the defense to exclude this evidence, and Judge Garsh said there appeared to be good reason for that buried in another court filing by the government.
"The Commonwealth told the court that the government conceded that the search in question was in fact not based on an adequately articulated probable cause and agreed that the fruits of that search must be suppressed," she said.
While this evidence may not have been the most important evidence for the Commonwealth's case against Hernandez, it almost certainly is concerning to them that any evidence has been thrown out because procedure wasn't followed, especially since the judge has yet to decide on the admissibility of Hernandez's BlackBerry, his home surveillance system, and a rifle found in a Toyota parked in his North Attleboro home's garage.
Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to first degree murder in the June 2013 death of Odin Lloyd. He has also pleaded not guilty in a separate case in the 2012 murders of two men outside a Boston nightclub.