- Hernandez attorneys want test results from Patriots
- Team doesn't want to comply with all defense requests
- Former Patriots tight end is charged in slayings
- Judge is hearing matter
The New England Patriots are refusing to voluntarily turn over scouting reports and psychological tests to the defense team of former star tight end Aaron Hernandez.
"This is not a fishing expedition," Patriots attorney Andrew Phelan told a Massachusetts Superior Court judge during a hearing Wednesday.
The Patriots cut Hernandez loose on June 26, 2013, the same day he was arrested in the slaying of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd. He has pleaded not guilty to murder in the Lloyd killing and those of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in 2012.
Hernandez' defense team wants a judge to issue a subpoena to be served on the three-time Super Bowl championship team.
"We never thought the Pats would refuse our request," Hernandez co-counsel Michael Fee told the judge.
The Patriots argue that psychological tests done before the 2010 NFL draft and scouting reports that can go as far back as the childhood of a prospective player don't have a proven role in Hernandez's case because they were conducted three years before Lloyd's death.
"They must be relevant to an issue in dispute in the case, " Phelan told the court. "But he's not putting his state of mind at issue," the attorney said of Hernandez.
The defense argues it is relevant, but has not yet made clear what the information may play in its case.
"Any record bearing on a defendant's psychological function, illnesses or afflictions, addiction, cognitive ability, social interactions, behavior under stress, relationship with authority and other such factors are undeniably relevant to the defense of an individual charged with First Degree Murder," Fee wrote in a motion.
The team says its scouting report contains "trade secrets," adding that revealing them could "cause competitive harm to the Patriots."
The report includes an athlete's speed, stats and injuries, including concussions.
The Patriots have offered to allow the defense to look at, but not have, a one and half page summary of a psychological test administered during the 2010 NFL Combine called the Troutwine Athletic Profile (TAP). It takes about 20 minutes to complete and can be given to athletes ages 13-25, according to court records.
The team claims the summary is the only thing it can provide because of copyright restrictions, adding the company is the proper record keeper. Lawyers for Hernandez are hotly contesting that claim.
The Patriots are offering to provide Hernandez' lawyers with a 317 pages of "employment and medical/training room records without a court order." But first, they want a current signed release form, pointing out one previously provided by his attorneys was outdated.
The judge will hold another hearing on the case July 22.
Will Hernandez get the subpoena he's seeking from the court?
University of New Hampshire law professor Michael McCann says he probably will. "I could see the judge limiting the order to only psychological aspects of those reports, given the trade secret concern raised by the Patriots," McCann told CNN.
"The judge has an incentive to be fairly permissive in allowing Hernandez access to these reports since denial would be grounds for a Hernandez appeal should he be convicted."