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Judge Imposes Gag Order In Aaron Hernandez Murder Case

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NORTH ATTLEBORO, MA - AUGUST 22: Aaron Hernandez is escorted into the courtroom of the Attleboro District Court for his hearing on August 22, 2013 in North Attleboro, Massachusetts. Former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez has been indicted on a first-degree murder charge for the death of Odin Lloyd.

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FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts judge says she found no ethical violations by prosecutors in the Aaron Hernandez murder case, but she did impose a formal gag order to protect the ex-New England Patriot’s right to a fair trial.

Hernandez’s attorneys had accused the state of allowing leaks and prejudicial out-of-court statements. They also sought a gag order from Judge Susan Garsh.

They claimed the prosecution orchestrated a “publicity stunt” last year when Miami Dolphin Michael Pouncey was served with a subpoena after a game at Gillette Stadium. Prosecutors denied that and say they have leaked nothing.

Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to the murder of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd.

Garsh’s order, entered Thursday, demands both sides take “reasonable precautions” against prejudicial disclosures and says prosecutors must investigate any reports of leaks.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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