Aaron Hernandez Was Indicted for His Prison Fight

Bristol County Sheriff Tom Hodgson sees Hernandez's story as a cautionary tale.

Associated Press

Associated Press

While awaiting his trial for murder, Aaron Hernandez sure is keeping his lawyers busy with other work, as this week, the AP reported that a grand jury indicted Hernandez on charges of assault and battery for the prison fight he allegedly started this February.

That’s certainly not the most grievous crime with which Hernandez is accused, given he also awaits trial for the murder of Odin Lloyd. But he can’t be pleased with it nonetheless. Given the active legal proceedings, prison officials have kept some details of the fight private. Bristol County Sheriff Tom Hodgson told reporters that both Hernandez and his victim were supposed to be held in isolation. In a May article focusing on Hodgson in Boston, the sheriff said he was surprised by the fight:

“We didn’t anticipate that the person we were protecting would turn around and try to harm the people we were protecting him from,” he said.

He continued:

… he made it clear that Hernandez was walking around the courtyard during one of his hours outside his cell when he attacked another inmate who was in restraints while being transferred to another part of the prison. “It was relatively quick, because we had three officers right in the immediate vicinity,” Hodgson says.

The guy in restraints is reportedly Andrew Booker, 25. He was being held at Bristol County jail on drug and gun charges, and the grand jury seems to have found evidence to indict Hernandez without his help, because, “He doesn’t want to go after Hernandez. He doesn’t want to be a rat,” Booker’s attorney Michael Maloney told the Sun Chronicle. Booker has reportedly been released from prison, while Hernandez saw the hours he spends out of his cell further restricted.

Hernandez, his murder trial, and his other mishaps all offer Hodgson a high-profile opportunity, one he seems to relish for the chance to mold the young minds of those who once followed Hernandez as a young football star.

As he told the magazine of Hernandez’s murder charges and imprisonment, “This was a huge lesson that the press were actually helping to promote out there for kids.” It implies that this, too, should provide a lesson that even fistfights with reasonably low physical consequences can yield legal headaches.