Judge Denies Prosecutors Access to Aaron Hernandez’s Jail Calls
According to the Boston Globe, Bristol Superior Court judge denied the prosecutor’s request to receive recordings of phone calls that Aaron Hernandez made while in jail.
“The Comonwealth’s motion is not supported by any affidavit,” she said, noting that the document filed was not signed under the pains and penalties of perjury or notarized.
She said she was denying the prosecutors’ motion without prejudice, meaning they could return to her court with the same request, if they do it properly.
She also cautioned them that under the law, their request for a subpoena for the recordings required them to show that they believed based on “reliable hearsay” that the recordings contained material that would address an issue relevant to the case.
She warned the prosecutors that she needed more detail to determine the reliability of the hearsay that led the prosecutors to believe that there was relevant information on the recordings.
The prosecutor’s original filing stated that the Bristol County sheriff’s office had provided some of the defendant’s telephone conversations.
Garsh said she wanted to know more about the “layers” of people there were from the person who listened to the recordings to the person who reported its contents to the prosecutors. She said that would help her determine whether the hearsay was reliable — and the prosecution request could be granted.
Prosecutor William McCauley disclosed that prosecutors had already obtained some of the recordings of the jail calls but wanted to get them subpoenaed to “honor a protocol” set by the sheriff’s office. Garsh ordered him to turn over the recordings already in the prosecution’s possession to the defense by Monday.
Defense attorney James Sultan had argued that the motion was “grossly overbroad.” He said the prosecutors and the prosecutors had a “rather bizarre partnership” with the sheriff’s office, which was “acting as an agent, an arm of the prosecution.”