The judge in the Aaron Hernandez case tore into the defense team Monday after it accused the court of racism.
At issue – Judge Jeffery A. Locke selected a white woman as the jury foreperson, prompting Hernandez’s team to object since most of the jury is made up of minorities.
According to the Boston Herald, one of Hernandez’s attorneys Ronald Sullivan Jr., used strong language to denounce the choice:
“We find it offensive that with the jury predominantly filled with people of color, they cannot self-govern. We think it violates Mr. Hernandez’s due process rights,” Sullivan said.
“Your honor’s choice of the foreperson is deeply troubling,” he said, “because of the racial composition of the jury. Each and every one of the minority jurors deserved the same chance as the foreperson got.”
But Locke wasn’t having it:
“Accusing any court of being racist is not only offensive to the individual judge, but to the tribunal and the integrity of the tribunal. Frankly, I find it astounding that you would make that claim.”
Hernandez, 27, is on trial and charged with killing two men, Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, in a drive-by shooting following an incident a Boston nightclub in 2012. Prosecutors say Hernandez was angered when he spilled his drink after de Abreu bumped into him, and he later shot the two men as they were in their car, at a stoplight.
In addition to the murder charges, Hernandez also faces three counts of armed assault with intent to murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, unlawful carrying of a firearm and witness intimidation.
Hernandez, the former New England Patriots and Florida Gators star, is already serving a life sentence for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd,