CONFLICT OF INTEREST BETWEEN PROSECUTION AND DEFENSE

Aaron Hernandez took the witness stand on October 9th to be questioned about a possible conflict of interest among the lawyers on both sides assigned to his case.  The Bristol County prosecutor is Patrick Bomberg, his wife works at the law firm that is defending Hernandez.  One of Hernandez’s lawyers is Michael Fee.

“Do you want to continue to be represented by Mr. Fee?” Bristol County Superior Court Judge Susan Garsh asked Hernandez.

“Yes, your honor,” Hernandez answered.

Hernandez has decided that the conflict of interest doesn’t bother him, but the conflict of interest between the prosecutor and the judge on the case bothers the prosecution.  They have filed a memorandum outlining their intent to ask Judge Garsh to recuse herself because Assistant District Attorney William McCauley argued that Garsh is “antagonistic” toward the government, especially in a 2010 murder case of George Duarte.

Assistant District Attorney William McCauley wrote in a motion that the rocky professional relationship between himself and Judge Garsh could raise questions in the public about the court’s ability to handle the case impartially.  Hernandez’s defense team said they oppose any attempt to recuse, “in the strongest terms”.  They were given time to file a response motion before arguments, which are set for an October 21st hearing.

In June of 2010, Garsh presided over the murder trial of George Duarte, which McCauley prosecuted.  At the end of the trial, McCauley said that he was frustrated with what he saw as biased rulings in favor of the defense, in which he said showed intrinsically Garsh’s antagonism toward him.  This isn’t the first time McCauley has wanted Garsh to recuse herself, in 2011, McCauley wanted Garsh to recuse herself from the murder retrial of Eric Durand.  In that trial, McCauley said he doubted Garsh’s ability to “be free of bias” because of the Duarte trial where she issued “erroneous rulings of law”, interfered with prosecutor’s presentation of evidence to the jury, and disparaged the prosecution to the jury.  McCauley cited examples, including when Garsh refused to note for the record that a witness identified Duarte.  Garsh recused herself and Judge Robert Kane presided over the trial.

Duarte, 25, was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison for the shooting death of Edwin “Gio” Medina.  Durand, 33, was convicted of first-degree murder at retrial of killing 4-year-old Brendon Camara and sentenced to life in prison without a possibility of parole.

HERNANDEZ’S “MUSCLE MAN” TALKS TO POLICE

A witness who is being described by the media’s unnamed sources as Aaron Hernandez’s “muscle man” says he was with the ex-Patriots tight end the night of the 2012 Boston double homicide that police say Hernandez may be responsible for.  The witness, Alexander Bradley, who has filed a civil suit against Hernandez accusing him of shooting out his eye during an argument at a Florida strip club in February, though he appeared voluntarily at the grand jury that indicted Hernandez in the murder of Odin Lloyd he didn’t testify before the Boston grand jury until after being arrested for failing to show up when summoned by subpoena.  Bradley’s lawyers said it was just a mistake that he didn’t show up.

Bradley is allegedly telling investigators that he was at Boston’s Cure nightclub with Hernandez on July 12, 2012 before Daniel Abreu, 29, and Safiro Furtado, 28, were fatally shot in their car.  Bradley and Hernandez were both captured on the nightclub’s security camera.  A Boston grand jury has been hearing evidence allegedly linking Hernandez to the double homicide.

Among the evidence is a .35 caliber handgun described as the possible murder weapon and a silver SUV driven by Hernandez that was “hidden” in his uncle’s garage.  The vehicle is similar in description to the vehicle seen at the shooting including the Rhode Island license plate.  The SUV, a rental in Hernandez’s name, was discovered when investigators searched the uncle’s home while investigating the murder of Odin Lloyd.  Prosecutors allege that Hernandez orchestrated Lloyd’s execution-style murder one June 17th of this year.

The possible murder weapon turned up in a routine search of a car crash in June.  Jailene Diaz Ramos, who was driving the car, is from Hernandez’s hometown.  Ramos says that the gun was her boyfriend’s and he and some “football friends” had it.

In the Lloyd murder, authorities allege that Hernandez, Ernest Wallace, and Carlos Ortiz picked up Lloyd from his apartment in a rental car before his death.  Surveillance cameras then captured the rental car leaving the crime scene and Hernandez carrying a gun as he returned to his home minutes later.  Lloyd was not with him, according to police.

ALLEGED ANONYMOUS WITNESS TALKS TO FOX 25

In other developments, an alleged anonymous witness told Fox Boston that he survived the double homicide.  The man, who asked that he not be identified for fear of his own safety, says he is haunted by not knowing why the gunman opened fire on his friend’s car, but he now says he recognizes Hernandez as the shooter.

“They just came up and started firing for no reason at all,” he told FOX 25.

The man says he was in the middle of the back seat with his two friends beside him and two others in the front.  The group had just left Cure Lounge in Boston’s Theater District.  He recalled it being a fun time with nothing out of the ordinary.  Some drinking, some dancing, and no fighting.

“We never had any trouble. We were not those kind of people. We were just having fun,” he said.

According to him, they left the club at 2 a.m., closing time.  They pulled up to a red light and were getting ready to turn left when an SUV pulled up beside them quickly.  He said, he heard someone shout, “What up, negroes?” and then bullets sprayed the car.

“Things happened so fast. I was trying to defend myself,” the witness said. “They were shooting everywhere inside the car, front to back. They just came to kill…”

Danny Abreu was in the driver’s seat, Safiro Furtado next to him. Both were killed.  For months, he said he was as baffled as investigators, no one knew who committed the crime or why.  He told FOX that he was never a football fan, so he didn’t know Hernandez before he saw a news report about his arrest for Odin Lloyd’s murder.  He said he recognized the million dollar football player.

“When I see his face, I just recognize his face. Compare his face that night to his face now. It’s that face…” he said.

“I just want to know, what’s the reason? What’s the point? Why us?” he asked.

Outgoing Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said:

“We’ve got the best homicide team in the city working on that. They are putting pieces of information together and presenting it to the grand jury, working very closely with the District Attorney’s Office on that case. I’m satisfied with the direction it’s going in, and I think that we’ll come to the right conclusions…”

Fox 25 says that they have confirmed the man has talked with investigators.

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