The New England Patriots have offered to turn over 317 pages of team records on accused murderer Aaron Hernandez to his lawyers, the Boston Globe reported, but are balking at handing over some pre-draft reports on the player from 2009 and 2010.
The portion that the Patriots plan to turn over include medical and personnel records, but they do not want to include their notes from the 2010 NFL combine or scouting reports from 2009 and 2010, team lawyer Andrew Phelan said in a hearing in Fall River (Mass.) District Court.
Phelan said Hernandez's defense team was engaged in a “fishing expedition.”
Hernandez defense attorney Michael Fee described the combine report as a “psychological assessment,” said the defense wanted “solid evidence about our client” and argued that the Patriots should turn over the remainder of the reports because of it.
The former Patriots tight end is facing murder charges in two different counties in the deaths of three men in incidents from 2012 and 2013.
The Patriots are notoriously tight-lipped about peeling back the curtain on how they operate, so this has to be seen as a generous concession — even with the combine and scouting portions omitted.
It would be fascinating to see those book-length reports, which prove in their length for one football player (a troubled one at that) how many resources NFL teams will expend on personnel. But if there's anything damning from a psychological standpoint, that could open up a new can of worms in this case. We might end up asking whether the Patriots — clearly armed with ample resources to do so — should have done more digging into Hernandez's personal life prior to the team releasing him following murder charges being brought up.
Also, there's the possibility of the defense using Hernandez's mental state, if that's something covered in the reports, as a possible defense. Can you imagine the public reaction if his lawyers try to go for some kind of concussion-addled insanity plea in the killings? Hey, we've heard of wilder Hail Mary attempts in American courts.
People generally seem tired of weekly Hernandez reports, but these reports could spike the interest level in the cases again.
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