What's Buzzing:

Patriots: Team owes Aaron Hernandez nothing

AP - Sports

BOSTON (AP) -- The New England Patriots don't owe ''another penny'' to former tight end Aaron Hernandez, who is charged in three killings, a team lawyer told a judge Wednesday.

Attorney Andrew Phelan said the team terminated its contract with Hernandez shortly after he was charged last year in the death of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd. He said the team does not believe it owes Hernandez a $3.25 million contract signing bonus.

''The Patriots believe under the terms of that contract that they owe not another penny to Mr. Hernandez,'' Phelan said during a hearing in Suffolk Superior Court on wrongful death lawsuits filed by the families of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, two Boston men prosecutors say were also killed by Hernandez.

The families' lawyer, William Kennedy, asked for an order barring the Patriots from paying Hernandez the $3.25 million if the team is ever ordered to do so by an arbitrator. According to the lawsuit filed by Kennedy, Hernandez has filed a grievance seeking the money, plus $82,000 he says is owed to him by the team.

But Judge Bonnie MacLeod said the team is already subject to a similar order in the Lloyd case and accepted a signed stipulation from the Patriots. The agreement says the Patriots will inform the court if an arbitrator orders them to pay Hernandez and will be subject to any further orders from the court on the matter, Kennedy said.

Kennedy also asked to add the Patriots organization as a defendant in the lawsuit. He said his primary goal in adding the team was to be able to get information on the terms of Hernandez's contract with the Patriots in an effort to try to secure assets for the families in the event they are awarded damages by a jury. Each family is asking for $6 million in damages.

MacLeod said she would take that request under advisement, but was leaning against adding the team as defendants. The judge said Kennedy has other ways of getting the information he is looking for from the Patriots.

Hernandez's attorney, John Fitzpatrick, argued in court papers that the attempt to prevent the team from paying Hernandez is ''fundamentally unfair'' because Hernandez needs the money to pay for his defense in the three killings and the civil cases.

Depriving Hernandez access to his earnings ''would impair his state and federal constitutional rights to counsel and to due process,'' he wrote.

In court Wednesday, Fitzpatrick said he is not arguing that Hernandez needs the money or that Hernandez does not want any money to go to the bereaved families. He said it is clear that the judge in the Odin Lloyd case has already asserted authority over Hernandez's assets.

Fitzpatrick expressed sympathy for the men's families and also mentioned Hernandez.

''I have a client who is sitting in a jail who has fallen about as low as one can fall,'' he said.

Hernandez is accused of fatally shooting the two men in 2012 while they sat in their car at a stop light after one of them accidentally spilled a drink on Hernandez at a Boston nightclub. The 2012 shootings took place weeks before Hernandez signed a five-year, $40 million contract with the Patriots.

Lloyd's body was found in an industrial area near Hernandez's home in North Attleborough.

Hernandez has pleaded not guilty in the three killings.

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
View Comments (54)
  • Arsenal miss out on joining leaders, Spurs hold Chelsea

    Arsenal miss out on joining leaders, Spurs hold Chelsea

    By Ian Chadband LONDON (Reuters) - Arsenal missed the chance to heighten the congestion at the top of the Premier League and suffered fresh injury blows when a frustrating 1-1 draw at Norwich City failed to take them alongside leaders Manchester … More »

    Reuters - 21 minutes ago
  • Vardy success will spark hunt for next gem, says Smalling

    Vardy success will spark hunt for next gem, says Smalling

    (Reuters) - Jamie Vardy's rise from non-league anonymity to Premier League record-breaker could herald an era where top-flight managers scour England's lower leagues in the hope of discovering the next "hidden gem", Manchester United's Chris … More »

    Reuters - 23 minutes ago
  • Inspired Murray leads Britain to Davis Cup title

    Inspired Murray leads Britain to Davis Cup title

    By Martyn Herman GHENT, Belgium (Reuters) - The moment Andy Murray has pursued with such fanatical zeal finally arrived, unforgettably, on Sunday when an outrageous lob arced over Belgium's David Goffin to seal Britain's first Davis Cup title for … More »

    Reuters - 26 minutes ago
  • Most emotional win yet, says British Davis Cup hero Murray

    By Martyn Herman GHENT, Belgium (Reuters) - Clinching the decisive point to give Britain their first Davis Cup title for 79 years was more emotional than any of his other career highlights, Andy Murray said on Sunday. The 28-year-old has been … More »

    Reuters - 26 minutes ago
  • Huge respect for Murray, says Belgium's coach

    Belgium's beaten Davis Cup captain praised Britain's Andy Murray on Sunday after the world number two defeated home hope David Goffin to clinch the title in Ghent. "Huge respect for Andy Murray," Johan van Herck said after Murray's hard-fought 6-3 … More »

    Reuters - 26 minutes ago