At long last, the silence from Aaron Hernandez’s side of the investigation into the murder of Odin Lloyd has been broken. Michael K. Fee of Ropes and Gray LLP, Hernandez’s agent, addressed the media for the first time since Hernandez became a person of interest in the case, and had this statement to make on the topic:
“Over the past week, our client, Aaron Hernandez, has been the subject of a relentless flood of rumors, misinformation, and false reports in the media. These include the repeated publication of a supposedly confirmed report that an arrest warrant had been issued for Aaron, a report that was exposed as untrue. None of these false reports come from official sources and we appreciate the professionalism and restraint shown by the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office to date with regard to its public statements while its investigation is underway. Out of respect for that ongoing investigation, we will continue to refrain from commenting on its substance.”
The statement is one that, needless to say, needed to be made, because it’s about time that someone addressed how poorly and recklessly the media has approached the entire case, from reporting false information to simply skewing factual information.
Ed Garland, an Atlanta attorney, summed up why Fee had to speak up pretty well, as he told USA Today Sports,
“At some point, I would be aggressive to state my client’s innocence. If all that comes out is negative, it can have an effect on the potential jury. You can’t have the public hear one side for too long. I can’t tell him what to do, because I’m not on the inside. But if you look at what we’ve done in high-profile cases, I would be inclined to make some statement to the public that says, ‘Do not make up your mind until you’ve heard all the facts.’”
It is, of course, the job of the media to report stories, or even try to create stories through interviews, or things of that nature. It’s not, however, their job to create a story by being completely inaccurate and reckless with information, especially information that slanders a person’s name forever.
As a whole, the media around Hernandez’s potential involvement in the murder of Odin Lloyd has turned the entire situation into a spectacle that’s eerily similar to OJ Simpson’s chase, trial, etc., despite there being very little information that police even know about the murder. As it stands right now, the police don’t yet have a crime scene, a murder weapon (which they searched for in and around Hernandez’s home, to no avail), a prime suspect, or any possible motives – at least not that they’ve released to the public.
In fact, the worst that Hernandez could be convicted of as of yet would be an Obstruction of Justice charge – punishable of up to a year in prison in Massachusetts – which they haven’t made any arrests on as of yet.
As it stands right now, the police don’t have enough information to even name a suspect, let alone get a conviction of court, which is a shame, but sadly the truth, though hopefully they’ll be able to bring justice to the murderer of the 27 year-old semi-pro football player.
In the end, however, all the small tidbits that have been released by media throughout the investigation are useless, and merely affect our interpretation of how high the possibility of Hernandez’s guilt is, rather than changing whether or not he’s guilty, which is the important thing here.
The statement from Hernandez’s attorney is an important one when it comes to public opinion of Hernandez, but it means little in the investigation into the murder of Odin Lloyd. It’s nice to finally hear a rebuttal from Hernandez’s side of the investigation, however, rather than the media’s interpretation of what’s happening in the investigation, but it doesn’t change whether Hernandez was involved in the death of Lloyd or not.