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Assets from Aaron Hernandez's home frozen in civil lawsuit

By Susan Candiotti, CNN
updated 10:03 PM EDT, Tue July 8, 2014
A judge ruled that assets from Aaron Hernandez's home can be frozen pending the outcome of his double-murder trial.
A judge ruled that assets from Aaron Hernandez's home can be frozen pending the outcome of his double-murder trial.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Families of slaying victims Safiro Furtado and Daniel Abreu filed a civil lawsuit
  • Judge rules $5 million in assets from Aaron Hernandez's home can be frozen
  • Hernandez has pleaded not guilty in the killings of Furtado and Abreu
  • He's also accused in the slaying of Odin Lloyd

(CNN) -- The families of two men allegedly gunned down by Aaron Hernandez won a partial victory Tuesday when a judge ruled that $5 million in assets from his home can be frozen pending the outcome of his double-murder trial and their lawsuit.

The ruling preserves their right to possible collection of money in the future. The families are happy with the decision, an attorney said.

"They're gratified that the judge acknowledged the level of their loss by allowing the $5 million attachment," civil attorney Bill Kennedy told CNN.

However, the ruling also means the families of Safiro Furtado and Daniel Abreu can't automatically lay claim to an estimated $3.3 million Hernandez claims he's still owed by his old NFL team if the New England Patriots should pay him.

Prosecutors charge that in July 2012, Hernandez fired a .38-caliber gun into the victims' car after Abreu accidentally bumped into Hernandez, causing him to spill his drink. The suspected murder weapon has been recovered. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty.

The Patriots are locked in a salary dispute with the NFL Players Association, which is reportedly taking Hernandez' position.

In court testimony, the Patriots have taken the position they don't owe Hernandez any more money. The Patriots have declined comment to CNN on the matter.

The organization has stipulated it would notify the court if it intends to pay Hernandez any additional money.

"The reality is the $3.3 million, that right to be paid, is probably the only money my (clients) will ever be able to see, " Kennedy pleaded in a hearing last week before the judge.

However, the court's written ruling also means the Furtado and Abreu families can pursue the Patriots to try to learn more about Hernandez' contract, including what he was paid and what he may be owed.

In a separate civil lawsuit filed before the Boston case, the family of slaying victim Odin Lloyd also has a court attachment on Hernandez's home pending the outcome of the murder charge against Hernandez filed in June 2013.

"From their vantage point, all they can do from the civil perspective is to hold him (Hernandez) accountable civilly, " Kennedy added.

"None of this will bring back their loved ones, they'll still have a loss. ... But the family has started this procedure to hold him civilly liable and they're doing that," he said.

According to authorities, Hernandez paid just over $1 million for the home when he joined the Patriots in 2007.

The family seeks to be paid up to $5 million each in value from the home in North Attleborough, Massachusetts.

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