A big win for Aaron Hernandez's legal team today, as a judge ruled that prosecutors can not introduce text messages that Odin Lloyd sent minutes before he was shot to death, seeming to indicate that he was with the former Patriots star.

In the last half-hour of his life, murder victim Odin L. Lloyd sent texts to his sister stating "Did you see who I'm with?" then "NFL" and finally "Just so you know," according to prosecutors.

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Hernandez's (first) murder trial, for the death of Lloyd on June 17, 2013, is coming up fast. In a pretrial hearing held today in a Fall River, Mass., courtroom, Superior Court Judge E. Susan Garsh agreed with the defense and excluded the texts and other potential exhibits including:

  • Evidence related to the fatal drive-by shootings of two men outside a Boston club on July 16, 2012. Aaron Hernandez will stand trial for that double-murder once his trial for Lloyd's death concludes.
  • Evidence related to the shooting of Alexander Bradley, another Hernandez associate, in a Florida alley in February 2013. Bradley claims he was shot by Hernandez, and prosecutors say Hernandez believed (wrongly) that Bradley was a federal informant.
  • A 2009 photo of Aaron Hernandez holding a gun.

Jury selection for Hernandez's trial begins on Jan. 9, four weeks from today.

[Boston Herald]