Apart from the discussions all about domestic violence charges here, it’s difficult to ignore the Aaron Hernandez trial with the vast media coverage it’s receiving. Former New England Patriots tight end went from a rising star with a $40 million contract to the prime suspect in three murders – the 2013 slaying of Odin Lloyd and a separate 2012 double homicide in Boston. The former New England Patriots player’s fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins, took the stand today. In addition to being asked a myriad of questions by the judge, Jenkins was shown surveillance video from their home. Similar surveillance videos have become a key component to the testimony in this case.
A Closer Look at Surveillance Tapes
In Hernandez’s case, surveillance videos have been played to the jurors allegedly showing his movements during various times around the alleged time of the murder.
To give an overview of what’s been reviewed, one of the videos seen by the jury allegedly shows Hernandez coming home from a night out with Jenkins. A couple of friends are there to greet them when they arrive at Hernandez’s house. Hernandez is shown walking through the living room carrying a black object believed to be a firearm at approximately 12:45 a.m. The friends, Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, are also charged in the murder. Both men have pleaded not guilty and will be tried separately.
In other surveillance video clips, Hernandez is allegedly seen getting into the front passenger seat of a Nissan Altima rental car and leaving at 1:09 a.m. Wallace is driving and Ortiz sits in the rear driver’s-side seat. Prosecutors have said they went to pick up Lloyd, then took him to the industrial park, where he was shot to death shortly before 3:30 a.m.
The Nissan was returned to the rental car agency later that day with scrapes along the driver’s side and a missing driver’s-side mirror, according to previous testimony. The videos are pulled together by the prosecution to establish a timeline to further corroborate other evidence.
How does video surveillance play a role in criminal cases? It’s hardly unusual to have such a vast array of surveillance available in today’s day and age of ever-expanding technology. You can rest assured, it does not always work in your favor.
For example, a high-profile athlete such as Hernandez was at the time of the first alleged murders, has reason to install a much more elaborate security surveillance system than the average person. Little did he know, the security measure he chose to install became evidence for the prosecution. It is better to be ready to apply for understating no contest pleas that can be used to avoid being sued civilly for essentially confessing to a crime.If you wish to know how to avoid violating your probation which can be an act of criminal offence, you can check it out here!
Alternatively, as mentioned with the expansion of technology, many commercial buildings and local communities install cameras for security measures as well. This can help with people that are charged with burglary without any evidence. For this type of surveillance it becomes a matter of who gets to the videos first, which typically is seen by law enforcement before anyone else can view them. Of course, many defendants have no idea about the use of their surveillance tapes until they are charged, which can be months later. And, if the police have not gained access to them at the time of the charge, chances are they have been erased.
Hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer in a timely manner to properly and thoroughly review any evidence, speak to witnesses and ensure key evidence such as video tapes, calls or recordings are preserved can mean the difference between a conviction and an acquittal. If you or a loved one has been arrested or is being accused of a crime, contact TJGrimaldi at McIntyre ThanasidesBringgold Elliott Grimaldi&Guito, P.A. today.