Jury selection is underway in Bristol County, Massachusetts in the murder trial of New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez (left).  According to reports, one potential juror showed up with a Boston Bruins jersey on and yelled, “Go Pats!”  He was immediately escorted out of court.

Judge E. Susan Garsh has banned all sports gear from the courtroom.  One man was asked to turn his Red Sox sweatshirt inside out, another asked to remove his Nets hat.

The judge hopes to seat 18 jurors out of a pool of 1,000.  Jury selection is expected to last 2 weeks.

This process “aims to ensure fairness and impartiality to both sides of this case,” Judge E. Susan Garsh told the potential jurors.

Hernandez has pled not guilty to the first-degree murder of his friend Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old semi-pro football player.  He was found shot to death in an industrial park a few minutes from Hernandez’s home in 2013.  His arrest has drawn such intense media attention that seating a jury could be a difficult process.

The judge is keeping the 50 question survey of potential jurors sealed until the last prospective juror fills it out in order to avoid people tailoring their answers to get onto the jury.

The judge instructed the jury that Hernandez is presumed innocent, “this is not a mere technicality.  It is a principle of the utmost importance.  The charges…are only allegations, claims…and absolutely nothing more.”


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