The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Patriots lawyer tells judge in wrongful-death case that team owes Aaron Hernandez nothing

  • Print

BOSTON - The New England Patriots don't owe "another penny" to former tight end Aaron Hernandez, who is charged in three killings, a team lawyer told a judge Wednesday.

Attorney Andrew Phelan said the team terminated its contract with Hernandez shortly after he was charged last year in the death of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd. He said the team does not believe it owes Hernandez a $3.25 million contract signing bonus.

"The Patriots believe under the terms of that contract that they owe not another penny to Mr. Hernandez," Phelan said during a hearing in Suffolk Superior Court on wrongful death lawsuits filed by the families of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, two Boston men prosecutors say were also killed by Hernandez.

The families' lawyer, William Kennedy, asked for an order barring the Patriots from paying Hernandez the $3.25 million if the team is ever ordered to do so by an arbitrator. According to the lawsuit filed by Kennedy, Hernandez has filed a grievance seeking the money, plus $82,000 he says is owed to him by the team.

But Judge Bonnie MacLeod said the team is already subject to a similar order in the Lloyd case and accepted a signed stipulation from the Patriots. The agreement says the Patriots will inform the court if an arbitrator orders them to pay Hernandez and will be subject to any further orders from the court on the matter, Kennedy said.

Kennedy also asked to add the Patriots organization as a defendant in the lawsuit. He said his primary goal in adding the team was to be able to get information on the terms of Hernandez's contract with the Patriots in an effort to try to secure assets for the families in the event they are awarded damages by a jury. Each family is asking for $6 million in damages.

MacLeod said she would take that request under advisement, but was leaning against adding the team as defendants. The judge said Kennedy has other ways of getting the information he is looking for from the Patriots.

Hernandez's attorney, John Fitzpatrick, argued in court papers that the attempt to prevent the team from paying Hernandez is "fundamentally unfair" because Hernandez needs the money to pay for his defence in the three killings and the civil cases.

Depriving Hernandez access to his earnings "would impair his state and federal constitutional rights to counsel and to due process," he wrote.

In court Wednesday, Fitzpatrick said he is not arguing that Hernandez needs the money or that Hernandez does not want any money to go to the bereaved families. He said it is clear that the judge in the Odin Lloyd case has already asserted authority over Hernandez's assets.

Fitzpatrick expressed sympathy for the men's families and also mentioned Hernandez.

"I have a client who is sitting in a jail who has fallen about as low as one can fall," he said.

Hernandez is accused of fatally shooting the two men in 2012 while they sat in their car at a stop light after one of them accidentally spilled a drink on Hernandez at a Boston nightclub. The 2012 shootings took place weeks before Hernandez signed a five-year, $40 million contract with the Patriots.

Lloyd's body was found in an industrial area near Hernandez's home in North Attleborough.

Hernandez has pleaded not guilty in the three killings.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Faron Hall honoured by Mayor Sam Katz - May 6, 2009

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A water lily in full bloom is reflected in the pond at the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden Tuesday afternoon. Standup photo. Sept 11,  2012 (Ruth Bonneville/Winnipeg Free Press)
  • A Canada Goose cools off in a water pond Monday afternoon at Brookside Cemetary- See Bryksa’s Goose a day Challenge– Day 27-June 25, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What do you think of the new Blue Bombers uniforms?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google