Despite the buzz of fantasy football and the regular football season fast approaching, the talk of the league during this year’s offseason has been the troubles of the New England Patriot’s, Aaron Hernandez. While I practice in the area of Florida tax controversy, the coverage of the football star’s troubles has gained my attention both from a legal perspective and as a sports fan.
As most of the country, sports fan or attorney, is aware, Aaron Hernandez was charged with the killing of Odin Lloyd on June 28, 2013. ESPN reported that Hernandez was formally charged with first degree murder, carrying a firearm without a license, 2 counts of possession of large-capacity firearm and 2 counts of possession of a firearm without a firearms ID card.
The 23 year old Bristol native argued for bail because he was a homeowner and lives with a fiancé and an 8 month old baby, so therefore, he is unlikely to flee. Leading up to the arrest, Hernandez was allegedly with Lloyd, the boyfriend of Hernandez’s fiancé’s sister. On June 16, 2013, the prosecution believes that Hernandez texted two friends asking them to return to Massachusetts. In support of this assertion, the prosecution has surveillance footage showing Hernandez leaving his home with a gun. After picking up the victim at his home around 2:30 am, Lloyd texted his sister and stated, “Did you see who I am with? . . . NFL . . . just so you know.”
A few minutes after the 3:22 am text, gunshots were reportedly heard at the industrial park where the body was found. The following day, Hernandez, in his infinite wisdom, destroyed his cell phone and surveillance system. Following his implications in the murder, the New England Patriots released Hernandez and his 5 year $40 million contract. Shortly thereafter, Hernandez joined a list of 28 NFL players who have been arrested since the February 3, 2013 Super Bowl.
As of July 29, 2013, the critical piece of evidence still remains to be the murder weapon itself. In an effort to secure the weapon, authorities have searched the some 54-acres of Pine Lake in Bristol Connecticut. However, there have been no reports of the recovered Glock .45 used in the murder. While it could be months before the case goes to trial, this story will undoubtedly play a major role in the reality show that has become the NFL. It will be interesting to follow in the coming months.
About the author: Jerry Donnini is a multi-state sales and use tax attorney and an associate in the law firm Moffa, Gainor, & Sutton, PA, based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Mr. Donnini’s primary practice is multi-state sales and use tax as well as state corporate income tax controversy. Mr. Donnini also practices in the areas of federal tax controversy, native American taxation, federal estate planning, and Florida probate. Mr. Donnini is currently pursuing his LL.M. in Taxation at NYU. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact him via email JerryDonnini@Floridasalestax.com or phone at 954-642-9390.