Former Patriots TE Hernandez can't watch team play
Published: Friday, January 17, 2014 at 8:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 17, 2014 at 8:36 p.m.
If former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez wants to know the score of Sunday's AFC Championship game, he'll have to hope he overhears it from an officer or a fellow inmate.
“He's not allowed to watch any TV,” Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson told The Associated Press on Friday. “As far as finding it out, if they hear an officer talking about it they might find out that way. He could probably hear about it if some other inmate were to call home and he were to yell out.”
Hernandez was part of a potent tight end tandem for the Patriots, joining with Rob Gronkowski to catch 106 passes and 16 touchdowns in 2012. But he has missed this entire season after being charged in June with murder in the shooting death of Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old semi-pro football player.
The Patriots released Hernandez on the day he was arrested. He has pleaded not guilty.
Police are also investigating whether he might have been involved in a 2012 shooting that killed two people in Boston.
Hernandez is being held without bail at the Bristol County House of Correction in North Dartmouth, Mass., under “special management,” a classification that allows him only three hours outside his cell. He isn't allowed out at the same time as another inmate and he isn't allowed any TV, Hodgson said.
The sheriff said there are currently four inmates in the eight-cell unit, and they can talk through their cell doors. Hernandez is also allowed telephone privileges, but not necessarily around game time.
Other inmates in the prison get two hours of television per night, and they usually choose to watch sports, Hodgson said. “Even they won't be able to watch the two games,” he said.
Because Sunday's game is at 3 p.m., they will probably catch the end of the AFC title game during their regular window of 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Should the Patriots beat the Denver Broncos on Sunday and reach the Super Bowl, the general population inmates would be able to catch the first 90 minutes or so of the game, which is scheduled to kick off at around 6:30 p.m. EST.