Archives For William McCauley


Defense says DA violated gag order 

FALL RIVER, Mass. —A judge may impose a formal gag order in the murder case against former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez after his attorneys accused the state of allowing leaks they contend could jeopardize his right to a fair trial.

At a hearing in Fall River Superior Court on Monday, defense attorney Michael Fee blamed prosecutors for out-of-court statements reported in the media that he says have tarnished the ex-player.

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“Mr. Hernandez is entitled to a fair trial,” Fee told Judge Susan Garsh during the hour-long proceeding. “He is entitled to a jury panel that has not been poisoned by either false or sensational statements.”

The judge did not immediately rule on the defense’s request for a formal gag order.

Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to murder in the June shooting death of Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old semi-professional football player who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s girlfriend.

In a November filing, Hernandez’s attorneys said the state had “flouted” the rules of professional conduct and disregarded the judge’s admonition against prejudicial out-of-court commentary.

The defense said the prosecution orchestrated a “publicity stunt” in October, when authorities served Miami Dolphin Michael Pouncey with a subpoena related to the case after playing the Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. Pouncey played football with Hernandez at the University of Florida. The defense said serving the subpoena in that way and statements to the media attributed to law enforcement sources whipped up more publicity about the case.

The prosecution has not commented publicly on the subpoena.

In court Monday, Assistant District Attorney William McCauley denied the allegations, saying no leaks have come from the district attorney’s office or the investigative team.

“We are playing fair,” he said. “We’ve agreed to the rules of professional conduct, and we’re abiding by them.”

McCauley accused the defense of misconduct by calling into question the state’s integrity, without evidence of who was responsible for any leaks.

Despite sparring in court, the two sides agreed in principle on the issuance of a gag order. The judge asked both to submit specific proposals for a formal order, both due in January.

Hernandez, who’s from Bristol, Conn., was in court Monday but did not speak. His girlfriend, Shayanna Jenkins, and mother also attended. Jenkins is facing a perjury charge related to her testimony before the grand jury that indicted Hernandez. She has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors allege Hernandez killed Lloyd because he was upset with him for talking to some people at a nightclub with whom Hernandez had problems.

“We are playing fair,” he said. “We’ve agreed to the rules of professional conduct, and we’re abiding by them.”

McCauley accused the defense of misconduct by calling into question the state’s integrity, without evidence of who was responsible for any leaks.

Despite sparring in court, the two sides agreed in principle on the issuance of a gag order. Rather than ruling Monday, Garsh asked both to submit specific proposals for a formal order, both due in January.

Hernandez was in court Monday but did not speak. His girlfriend, Shayanna Jenkins, and mother also attended. Jenkins is facing a perjury charge related to her testimony before the grand jury that indicted Hernandez. She has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors allege Hernandez killed Lloyd because he was upset with him for talking to some people at a nightclub with whom Hernandez had problems.


Claim Shayanna Jenkins lied on almost 30 statements to grand jury

FALL RIVER, Mass. —Prosecutors allege that Shayanna Jenkins lied in almost 30 statements she gave to a Bristol County grand jury probing Odin Lloyd’s murder, the Herald News reports. 

Jenkins, 24, told the grand jury on Aug. 13 and Aug. 15 that she did not know why her boyfriend, Aaron Hernandez, changed their plans to visit New Hampshire in mid-June. Jenkins also said she never had a conversation with Hernandez about why he needed to meet with his lawyers and that she did not know it was a lawsuit filed in Florida that prompted the change in plans, according to court documents.

Late Monday, the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office filed the Bill of Particulars that explains the perjury charge that Jenkins was indicted on in late September. Jenkins pleaded not guilty at her arraignment.

Several of the alleged false statements in the Bill of Particulars were already mentioned by prosecutors in Jenkins’ two previous court hearings.

The Bill of Particulars alleges Jenkins lied when she told the grand jury that she could not recall where she dumped a large box that Hernandez allegedly told her to “get rid of” from their North Attleborough home’s basement the day after Lloyd’s murder on June 17. Jenkins also testified that she did not know what the items were, that she did not try to hide the box and that she did not speak with anyone else about discarding it, prosecutors said.

Jenkins also testified that she did not know what happened to a white sweatshirt that Hernandez wore on the night of Lloyd’s murder and that she only knew alleged accomplice Ernest Wallace as “Bo.” Jenkins also said she had not spoken to Wallace, 44, since Lloyd’s murder, according to court documents.

Prosecutors also allege that Jenkins lied about not recalling several conversations about Lloyd’s murder with Hernandez, including why police detectives went to their home or why Hernandez, the former Patriots star tight end, went to the North Attleborough police station for questioning, according to court documents.

At Jenkins’ arraignment her defense lawyer, Janice Bassil, said the prosecution’s case was “an overreach,” and added there was no evidence of perjury other than prosecutors not believing Jenkins’ answers to the grand jury.

“When someone says they don’t recall something and there’s no evidence to the contrary, that’s not perjury,” Bassil said during Jenkins’ Nov. 6 pretrial hearing in Fall River Superior Court.

Bassil said prosecutors used “heavy-handed” tactics against Jenkins, at one point bringing her to tears in front of the grand jury. Bassil said Jenkins was not aware of everything that Hernandez was doing, adding that their relationship had elements of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

However, First Assistant District Attorney William McCauley, who filed the Bill of Particulars, said during the Nov. 6 pretrial hearing that most of Jenkins’ testimony was “not credible.”

The Bill of Particulars says Jenkins lied about seeing only one gun in her house, and that she also committed perjury in her testimony regarding a confidentiality agreement and immigration issues related to her house cleaners. Prosecutors said Jenkins moved to obtain non-disclosure agreements from her housemaids after Lloyd’s murder. Bassil said it was not unusual for NFL stars and celebrities to obtain non-disclosure agreements from their house staff.

Meanwhile, prosecutors have another filing deadline today. They need to respond to Hernandez’s lawyers’ Nov. 15 motion that renews their request for a formal gag order and that accuses the district attorney’s office of leaking prejudicial information to the media. The district attorney’s denied the allegations.

 


Prosecutors accused Susan Garsh of ‘history of antagonism’

FALL RIVER, Mass.

Prosecutors in the Aaron Hernandez murder case who want the judge to recuse herself over alleged bias lost in court Monday.

Prosecutors asked Judge Susan Garsh to step aside, saying she and prosecutor William McCauley have a “history of antagonism” stemming from a 2010 murder trial. McCauley criticized her publicly even after winning a conviction. He says Garsh was hostile and wrongly excluded evidence.

Garsh denied their motion, saying “A person aware of all the facts and circumstances would not question my impartiality.”

The former New England Patriot’s attorneys called the recusal request “patently without merit” and say the bias charges are unsupported.

A spokesman for prosecutors says an identical motion was filed two years ago and that Garsh gave the case to another judge.

Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to murder in Odin Lloyd’s killing.