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Judge criticizes Aaron Hernandez’s lawyer for cracking Deflategate joke


There’s a time and a place for attempts at humor, a murder trial likely isn’t either of them.

James Sultan, attorney for former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez for the murder trial related to the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd, was rebuked on Friday by the judge presiding over the case after the lawyer cracked a joke about Deflategate during testimony the previous day.

Sultan was questioning a state trooper about tire inflation when he asked if the officer if he ever had any “training in football deflation devices” in a joking manner.

According to an Associated Press report (via the New York Post), Superior Court Judge Susan Garsh wasn’t impressed with Sultan’s conduct. She reportedly informed Herandez’s attorney on Friday morning that the trial was a serious matter and that she didn’t expect to hear any more wisecracks. Sultan reportedly agreed, then expressed regret over the misstep.

As proceedings resumed Friday morning, WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager reports that Sultan said “in hindsight, that was a mistake.”

“We are here on very serious business,” Judge Susan Garsh reportedly stated, to which Sultan responded, “I apologize to the court.”

The attempt at humor of course was in reference to the Patriots’ Deflategate scandal that exploded following the team’s victory in the AFC Championship Game over the Indianapolis Colts that became one of the most heavily discussed topics heading into Super Bowl XLIX. But just because something is topical — and tangentially relevant, given Hernandez’s onetime affiliation with the Patriots, doesn’t make it acceptable fodder for jokes, especially during, you know, a murder trial.

(image credit: WBZ-TV)