A judge has issued an order saying that no one wearing New England Patriots or National Football League apparel will be allowed in the courtroom for Aaron Hernandez's January murder trial.
[CLICK HERE to read the full order.]
"No person wearing clothing, or a button or other object attached to clothing, or carrying an object that displays any Patriots or other NFL team logo, football-related insignia, or words and/or photograph that relate in any way to this case will be permitted entry to the Fall River Justice Center during any phase of the trial," the Dec. 12 order from Judge E. Susan Garsh reads.
U.S. & World
"Judge Garsh has said basically sort of said this is not a sporting event, this is not a matter of you bringing your favorite Patriots player's t-shirt," necn legal editor Randy Chapman said.
The order lays out additional protocol for public attendance and media coverage of the trial, including a ban on photographic or electronic recording devices for anyone who is not a member of the news media.
No photographs relating to the case are allowed in the courtroom either. In every single pre-trial court appearance, victim Odin Lloyd's family wears his photo on their clothing.
"I think what Judge Garsh is doing is trying to anticipate possible issues that could arise," Chapman said.
Chapman adds that despite Hernandez's star-power, Judge Garsh's rules are routine.
"This isn't particularly unique to this case. In every case, the stakes are high if you want to make sure the defendant has a fair trial," he said.
The judge's order says 20 seats will be allocated to members of the public, along with another 20 for members of the news media. There will also be seating set aside for the Hernandez's family or friends and Odin Lloyd's family or friends.
Hernandez is scheduled to go on trial on Jan. 9 for the killing of Lloyd, a semi-pro football player whose bullet-riddled body was found in an industrial park about a mile from Hernandez's North Attleborough home in June of 2013.