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Serious criminal charges brought against two men in shootout

The people of Connecticut may be displeased to see that an associate of former NFL star Aaron Hernandez is spending time in the state. Perhaps under the circumstances, that time could turn out to be substantial. In another familiar scenario of violence, one of Hernandez's former associates in alleged crime was shot three times in the leg and taken to a hospital. Connecticut authorities have brought criminal charges against a man accused of shooting the Hernandez associate.

Hartford police announced that they charged a 29-year-old man with felony assault and gun crimes in the shooting that took place outside a Connecticut nightclub Sunday evening. He is a convicted felon and is being held on $1 million bail. However, Hernandez's former friend is also being held on $1 million bail due to various gun violations purportedly generated when he opened fire after being shot.

The lawyer for the man shot in the leg says that his client is the victim in the interchange. Hernandez, the man's former friend and the former tight end for the New England Patriots, is being held in Massachusetts on a murder charge. The injured associate in the Connecticut incident is also ironically suing Hernandez in a Florida court for shooting at him last year.

The man alleges he lost his eye due to Hernandez's assault. It seems that some substantial cycles of violence are intricately interwoven and fated to be self-propelled over a period of time. The dynamics seem to be triggered to play out extensively before running a full course.

That being said, Mr. Hernandez and the two individuals in the Connecticut shootings are nonetheless entitled to the full presumption of innocence in our system of justice. Only after a full airing of the criminal charges in a court of law will there be any validity to the punishment, if any, that is meted out. The public's need for security from violence must be balanced against the individual's right to the time-tested protections guaranteed by the due process of law.

Source: New Haven Register, Arrest made in Connecticut shooting of Hernandez cohort, No author, Feb. 5, 2014

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