Aaron Hernandez, the former University of Florida Gators and New England Patriots tight end, has asked court officials for a transfer to another jail due to safety concerns. Hernandez is currently awaiting trial for the murder of Odin Lloyd and of the double murder of Daniel Abreu and Safiro Furtado, and has also been named as the prime suspect in at least one other shooting in the Boston area.
Last month, Hernandez was indicted on assault and battery charges against a fellow inmate and of making threats to the corrections officers at the Bristol County House of Corrections, where he has been incarcerated since July of 2013.
Hernandez’s legal team said that the sheriff at the Bristol County facility is exploiting the ex-NFL star’s celebrity status, and Hernandez fears physical retribution stemming from the threats he allegedly made toward members of the corrections staff. Hernandez’s attorneys also want their client closer to Boston to alleviate the four-hour drive to visit the Bristol County House of Corrections. The defense team is also accusing Bristol Sheriff Tom Hodgson of collaboration with the District Attorney’s office to try and bury their client.
The request argues:
“The reach and depth of the collaboration between the Sheriff and the District Attorney is breathtaking, with the Sheriff and his staff working at the beck and call of the prosecution team on a daily basis. As a result, the Sheriff, an individual charged with the simple task of safely detaining Hernandez prior to trial, has abandoned his role as a professional jailer, and instead, energetically embraced a role as a full-time agent of the District Attorney.”
Aaron Hernandez had been a star on the BCS Championship Florida Gators and was drafted in the 4th round of the 2010 NFL draft by the New England Patriots. He played for two years and signed a lucrative contract extension valued at over $40 million dollars right before his off-field troubles came to light. The Patriots have since waived Hernandez, and there have been reports that the former football star was quickly running out of money to pay for his legal team.
Shortly after Hernandez was arrested for the murder of Lloyd, information surfaced that there were incidents while he attended the University of Florida, including shootings and battery accusation that were never pursued by authorities.
Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to all charges and maintains his innocence even as the evidence piles up. This includes photos of Hernandez holding the gun allegedly used to kill Lloyd and eye-witness testimonies putting the ex-tight end at the scene of the other shooting in 2012.
Hernandez is being held without bail.