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Aaron Hernandez pleads not guilty to assaulting inmate, threatening guard

Aaron Hernandez_Mill.jpg

Feb. 7, 2014: Former New England Patriots football player Aaron Hernandez, right, speaks to his attorney Charles Rankin during a hearing at Bristol Superior Court, in Fall River, Mass. (AP/The Boston Globe, Jonathan Wiggs, Pool, File)

Aaron Hernandez's attorneys on Monday asked a judge to throw out one of the former NFL star's murder cases, saying prosecutors lack evidence.

Prosecutors countered that they can tie Hernandez to Odin Lloyd's shooting and that the killing was part of a pattern of Hernandez committing acts of violence following nightclub disputes.

Also during Monday's court hearing, Hernandez pleaded not guilty to charges that he attacked a handcuffed inmate and threatened to kill a guard and his family while at a county jail in Dartmouth.

Hernandez faces murder charges in the June 17 slaying of Lloyd, a semi-pro football player, as well as a separate case in which he is accused of gunning down two men in Boston from inside a SUV in 2012. He has pleaded not guilty in each case and is being held without bail.

The former New England Patriot sat passively in a blue blazer and khaki dress pants as his attorneys argued that the charges in the Lloyd slaying should be dismissed. Defense attorney James Sultan said the prosecution might be able to prove Hernandez was with Lloyd the night he was killed, but he argued that does not make Hernandez culpable.

"You can't throw a bunch of stuff at the wall. That's not probable cause," Sultan said.

Prosecutors said their evidence includes a flurry of phone calls and text messages among those involved and the fact that Lloyd's body was found about 1,000 yards from Hernandez's home in North Attleborough, where Lloyd didn't know anybody but Hernandez.

Prosecutor William McCauley also said the state's investigation into incidents in Boston, Providence and Florida show a "common pattern" of allegations of violence against Hernandez following disputes at nightclubs.

An associate of Hernandez, Alexander Bradley, has filed a lawsuit alleging that Hernandez shot him in the face in Florida after they argued at a strip club.

A tentative trial date of Oct. 6 has been set in the Lloyd murder case. The judge did not immediately rule on the motion to dismiss the murder charge.

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