FALL RIVER, Mass. » Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez is due in court for his final appearance before he goes on trial Friday for allegedly murdering semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd in 2013.
Prosecutors and Hernandez’s lawyers are expected to take up their remaining issues Tuesday before jury selection begins on Friday in Bristol County Superior Court.
Hernandez was a tight-end for the Patriots with a $40 million contract when prosecutors say he killed Lloyd in an industrial park near his home in North Attleborough. Lloyd, 27, was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins. He was found shot to death on June 17, 2013. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty.
Among the issues pending before trial are requests to the judge by prosecutors to allow testimony from a Hernandez friend who says Hernandez owned a gun similar to the one used to kill Lloyd, and to prevent the defense team from calling an expert witness who can describe the effects of the drug PCP on the brain. Hernandez has asked the judge to allow his mother and Jenkins to attend the trial even though they are listed as witnesses and would not normally be allowed in the courtroom.
The trial is expected to last six to 10 weeks, and dozens of witnesses could be called, including Patriots coach Bill Belichick and team owner Robert Kraft.
Hernandez also has pleaded not guilty in the fatal shootings of two men in 2012 after an encounter at a Boston nightclub. That case has not yet gone to trial.