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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Bears’ Deonte Thompson testifies in Aaron Hernandez trial; Tim Tebow still can’t hit a fastball 03.28.17 at 9:23 am ET
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Good morning! Here is your Tuesday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: St. Louis vs. NY Mets, 1:10 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB: San Francisco vs. Chicago Cubs, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Boston at Pittsburgh, 6 p.m. (NESN Plus, WEEI-AM 850)
NHL: Nashville at Boston, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Washington at Minnesota, 8 p.m. (NHL Network)
NBA: Golden State at Houston, 8 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA: Washington at LA Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: Bakersfield vs. Georgia Tech, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: TCU vs. UCF, 9 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Deonte Thompson, a receiver for the Chicago Bears, took the stand on Monday in the Aaron Hernandez double murder trial.

Thompson, who was a teammate of Hernandez at the University of Florida, played for the Ravens in 2013 when Baltimore beat Hernandez’ Patriots in the AFC Championship game.

“That’s my guy,” Thompson said about Hernandez, who smiled in response.

Thompson said he doesn’t remember much about the night Hernandez allegedly shot Alexander Bradley in the face on Feb. 13, 2013. Thompson and Hernandez went to Tootsie’s, a strip club in Miami, that night for Thompson’s birthday and Thompson left before Bradley was shot.

“It’s kind of a blur. We were every day partying,” Thompson said. “We were kids … I had just won the Super Bowl.”

He said he thought Bradley and Hernandez “were just homies and whatnot. I thought they were pretty close.”

Hernandez and Thompson seemed happy to see each other and Thompson laughed as he was told to point out Hernandez in the courtroom and identified him by his purple tie.

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Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Tim Tebow,
Prosecution’s star witness says Aaron Hernandez is guilty of double murder 03.20.17 at 1:46 pm ET
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Aaron Hernandez is serving a life sentence for killing his friend Odin Lloyd in June 2013.  (The Sun Chronicle/Pool Photo via USA Today Sports)

Aaron Hernandez is serving a life sentence for killing his friend Odin Lloyd in June 2013. (The Sun Chronicle/Pool Photo via USA Today Sports)

The prosecution’s star witness in the Aaron Hernandez double murder trial testified Monday that the former tight end shot and killed two men following an incident at a nightclub, and then fired a gun at him months later.

Alexander Bradley, an admitted drug dealer, said the two men were hanging out on July 12, 2012, the night in which Daniel Abreu, 29, and Safiro Furtado, 28 were murdered in the South End. According to Bradley, Hernandez came to his house in Connecticut that evening in a silver Toyota 4Runner. He said they proceeded to drink and smoke marijuana before departing for Club Cure in Boston –– one of their favorite establishments.

At the club, Bradley said Abreu spilled a drink on them, and didn’t act apologetically afterwards. That apparently ticked off Hernandez, leading him to say he hates it “when people try him.”

Bradley said he convinced Hernandez to go to another bar, where they saw a patron from the Cure who they believe had followed them there. He claims that heightened Hernandez’s paranoia.

After their stint at Caprice Lounge, they went back to the Toyota 4Runner, where Bradley said Hernandez retrieved a gun from inside the hood. The two friends spotted Abreu and Furtado in an SUV, and proceeded to drive up next to them. That’s when Hernandez allegedly fired five shots into the victims’ car. Afterwards, Bradley said the ex-NFL star threw the gun out the car window. In the months following the murder, Bradley claims Hernandez became increasingly suspicious of his surroundings, thinking that “helicopters were following him everywhere.”

In February 2013, Hernandez shot Bradley in Florida in an apparent effort to silence him. In addition to pleading not guilty to the double murder, Hernandez has also said he isn’t guilty of witness intimidation.

Jose Baez, Hernandez’s defense attorney, is arguing Bradley killed the two victims after a drug deal went bad. Bradley, who’s currently serving a prison sentence for a Connecticut nightclub shooting, said Monday he didn’t sell marijuana to anybody in Massachusetts at the time of the double murder.

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Aaron Hernandez told a prison pen pal he’s ‘very angry all the time’ 03.16.17 at 12:40 pm ET
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Aaron Hernandez is already serving a life sentence for Odin Lloyd's murder. (The Sun Chronicle/Pool Photo via USA Today Sports)

Aaron Hernandez is already serving a life sentence for Odin Lloyd’s murder. (The Sun Chronicle/Pool Photo via USA Today Sports)

The prosecution may have gotten a big break in the Aaron Hernandez double murder trial.

On Thursday, assistant Suffolk County district attorneys Mark Lee and Patrick Haggan read aloud statements from one of Hernandez’s pen pals. The female, who corresponded with Hernandez in 2015 as he was awaiting trial for the slaying of his friend Odin Lloyd, said the former Patriots tight end told her about the dark state of his mind.

“At one point during their conversations, the defendant told her that incidents in his life caused him to be ‘very angry all the time,’ ” the prosecutors wrote, via the Boston Herald. “The defendant’s statements … are probative of his state of mind to explain his anger over a spilled drink.”

According to law enforcement, Hernandez shot and killed Daniel Abreu, 29, and Safiro Furtado, 28, in the South End in 2012 following a nightclub incident. Apparently, one of the two men spilled a drink on Hernandez, which set him off. He allegedly pulled up next to Abreu and Furtado at a stoplight after leaving the club, and started to open fire.

This followed the prosecution’s presentation Wednesday, when they questioned a tattoo artist who did extensive work on Hernandez in an attempt to argue the ex-football star got ink to commemorate the deaths of the two victims. After the murder, Hernandez got a front view of a handgun, a design of a six-cylinder revolver with one bullet missing and the words “God Forgives” written backwards tattooed on his body.

In defense of their client, Hernandez’s lawyers said the tattoo artist’s testimony was different than what he had told police. They also said the pen pal’s statements were “cherrypicked.”

Read More: Aaron Hernandez,
Witness says Aaron Hernandez called repairman when his car ran out of gas 03.10.17 at 3:45 pm ET
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Aaron Hernandez (The Sun Chronicle/Pool Photo via USA Today Sports)

Aaron Hernandez is currently serving a life sentence for Odin Lloyd’s murder. (The Sun Chronicle/Pool Photo via USA Today Sports)

Aaron Hernandez doesn’t appear to be a car aficionado.

During his double murder trial Friday, the former president of Fox Toyota was called to the witness stand. Jack Fox leased the Toyota 4Runner to Hernandez that authorities say he was driving when he shot and killed Daniel Abreu, 29, and Safiro Furtado, 28, in the South End in 2012.

During one exchange, Fox was asked about his relationship with the former Patriots tight end. He said he entered a promo agreement with Hernandez, and would regularly service the vehicle free of charge. In exchange, Hernandez would give Fox tickets and other perks.

About three or four weeks into the lease, Fox said Hernandez told him the car wouldn’t start. He went to Hernandez’s house, only to find that the 4Runner didn’t have any gas in it.

The 4Runner has been off the road for over three years, as authorities seized it around the time Hernandez was arrested for the shooting death of Odin Lloyd in June 2013. Hernandez was found guilty of first-degree murder the following year.

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Aaron Hernandez’s potential marijuana defense is ridiculous 02.23.17 at 7:35 pm ET
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Aaron Hernandez was found guilty of first-degree murder in 2015. (The Sun Chronicle/Pool Photo/USA TODAY Sports)

Aaron Hernandez was found guilty of first-degree murder in 2015. (The Sun Chronicle/Pool Photo/USA TODAY Sports)

Aaron Hernandez’s lawyers are thinking about using a pot defense, saying their client’s habit of smoking marijuana may have turned him into a murderous monster. That’s insane.

According to the Boston Herald’s Bob McGovern, Hernandez’s attorneys have included two unknown marijuana experts in a list of potential witnesses for his upcoming double-murder trial. They could discuss the nature of marijuana use in the NFL and the psychological impact the drug has on its users.

“At that point, if you are using this tactic, you are probably trying to get it down to second-degree murder or manslaughter,” criminal defense attorney Phil Tracy told the Herald. “You would try to say that repeated and prolonged use of marijuana had an effect on his brain so he couldn’t form clear intent to commit first-degree murder.”

Hernandez’s marijuana use was a central theme during his first murder trial two years ago, in which he was convicted for slaying semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd in June 2013. His attorneys argued Hernandez couldn’t have killed Lloyd, because the two were smoking buddies.

But this time around, they may argue years of excessive marijuana use diminished Hernandez’s mental capacity. The former Patriots tight end is accused of killing Daniel Jorge Correia de Abreu, 29, and Safiro Furtado, 28 in a drive-by shooting on a South End street in July 2012. The two victims reportedly encountered Hernandez at a club in the theatre district the night they were killed.

There’s little evidence that suggests smoking or ingesting marijuana can have a damaging long-term neurological impact. A 2003 study from the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society shows chronic marijuana users don’t experience a significant reduction in their cognitive abilities, except perhaps in their ability to remember. A 2014 study says marijuana can even be used to treat some forms of mental illness, such as PTSD and depression.

While alcohol makes its users more aggressive and violent, weed has the opposite effect. Last year, researchers in the Netherlands examined a group of 20 heavy drinkers and 21 habitual marijuana smokers, monitoring them while they got drunk or high. Through a series of tests, they found the drinkers got more aggressive as their blood alcohol content rose, whereas the smokers got less aggressive when they became impaired. Those findings coincide with a 2014 study that says couples that smoke marijuana are less likely to engage in domestic violence.

It’s possible that drug use may have ravaged Hernandez’s mind at the time of the double-murder. In a 2013 feature story, the Rolling Stone reported Hernandez was a PCP addict, with one friend saying he was “out of his mind.” During the Lloyd murder trial, Hernandez’s lawyers called a professor from Tufts University School of Medicine to testify about how PCP can cause people to become violent. Hernandez’s cousin said the tight end’s two co-defendents in that case, Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, were smoking PCP the weekend Lloyd was killed.

It seems as if drug abuse played a role in Hernandez’s downfall. But placing the blame on marijuana is disingenuous and insulting.

Read More: Aaron Hernandez, New England Patriots,
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Rick Pitino goes insane on UNC fan; Aaron Hernandez lawyers reportedly look to use pot defense at 8:40 am ET
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Good morning, here is your Thursday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS: 
NHL: Washington at Philadelphia, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Boston at Anaheim, 10:30 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: Michigan at Rutgers, 6:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: DePaul at Georgetown, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Duke at Syracuse, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Pittsburgh at Wake Forest, 7 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: TCU at Kansas, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: UCF at Temple, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Xavier at Seton Hall, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Minnesota at Maryland, 8:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Butler at Villanova, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Louisville at North Carolina, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Oklahoma State at Kansas State, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Oregon at California, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: UConn at Houston, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Fresno State at San Diego State, 11 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Oregon State at Stanford, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Louisville coach Rick Pitino had a heated exchange with a UNC fan during halftime of North Carolina’s 74-63 win over his team Wednesday night.

As Pitino walked to the locker room tunnel, a fan reportedly yelled “Pitino, you suck!” at him.

He “got in my face and said something I didn’t like,” Pitino said afterward.

Pitino had to be restrained by his coaching staff and the fan was ejected.

“I take it from the students all the time; you expect it from the students. But from an adult? And then to turn his back on me like he’s a coward?” Pitino said. “And he is a coward, but North Carolina is a classy place and he doesn’t speak for the rest of the people.”

“I’ve always said this is the classiest place in college basketball, until I met a fan on the way out,” Pitino then said. “It always reminded me of a class place, but they’re getting just like some of the other places now.”

North Carolina coach Roy Williams apologized to Pitino after the game.

“I don’t like that. We’re North Carolina. We don’t have to be like everybody else,” Williams said. “You can raise Cain, you can boo, but you don’t have to say stuff that we as coaches have to put up with on the road. I hope that never happens again at North Carolina.”

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Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Rick Pitino,
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Potential Aaron Hernandez trial juror dismissed for wearing Patriots hat; Fenway Park bids for 2018 Army-Navy game 02.16.17 at 9:07 am ET
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Good morning, here is your Thursday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS: 
NBA: Indiana at Cleveland, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Philadelphia at Boston, 7:30 p.m. (CSN)
NBA: New York at Oklahoma City, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: St. Louis at Detroit, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Florida at San Jose, 10:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: LIU Brooklyn at St. Francis Brooklyn, 6 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Xavier at Providence, 6:30 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Cincinnati at South Florida, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Iowa State at Kansas State, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Maryland at Northwestern, 7 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Temple at East Carolina, 7 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: Creighton at Seton Hall, 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: St. John’s at Butler, 8:30 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Duke at Virginia, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Indiana at Minnesota, 9 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Oklahoma State at TCU, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: San Diego State at Utah State, 10 p.m. (CBSSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— A potential juror in Aaron Hernandez’ second murder trial showed up to Suffolk Superior Court wearing a Patriots hat on Tuesday.

Officers made the man take off the hat and he was, obviously, not selected as a juror. 64 other potential jurors, including a self-proclaimed Trump supporter and woman due to give birth in April, were also dismissed.

Hernandez was present in the courtroom and said “good morning” to the jury prospects.

The trial is set to begin on March 1.

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Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Fenway Park,
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Richard Sherman cancels weekly press conference, calls it a ‘privilege'; Buccaneers RB Doug Martin suspended for violating NFL drug policy 12.29.16 at 8:09 am ET
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Good morning, here is your Thursday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Boston at Cleveland, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Dallas at LA Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
NHL: Boston at Buffalo, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: New Jersey at Washington, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
College football: South Florida vs. South Carolina, 2 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Arkansas vs. Virginia Tech, 5:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Oklahoma State vs. Colorado, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
Women’s college basketball: Connecticut at Maryland, 6 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Butler at St. John’s, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Georgia at Auburn, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Kentucky at Mississippi, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Vanderbilt at LSU, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Saint Mary’s at Loyola Marymount, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman used his weekly press conference to take aim at the media for the second week in a row, but this time he did so by canceling the presser altogether.

On Wednesday Sherman called off his weekly media event, telling reporters at his locker they take him and his media availability for granted.

“I’m just going to make sure people — it’s a privilege to have me up there,” Sherman said. “You’re going to miss me when I’m gone.”

This comes just one week after Sherman threatened to ruin Seattle radio host Jim Moore’s career after Moore asked Sherman about his criticism of the coaching staff’s play-calling decisions.

This was the first time this season Sherman canceled his weekly press conference.

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Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Doug Martin, Richard Sherman,
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Aaron Hernandez identified as shooter in 2012 drive-by shooting; Richard Sherman threatens to ruin career of Seattle radio host 12.21.16 at 8:27 am ET
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Good morning, here is your Wednesday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Milwaukee at Cleveland, 7 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA: Dallas at Portland, 10 p.m. (NBATV)
NHL: Washington at Philadelphia, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
College football: BYU at Wyoming, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Fairfield at Boston College, 6 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Duke at Elon, 6 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: American University at Villanova, 6:30 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Kentucky at Louisville, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Missouri at Illinois, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Oakland at Michigan State, 7 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Northern Iowa at North Carolina, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: UAB at Texas, 8 p.m. (Longhorn Network)
College basketball: Auburn at Oklahoma, 8:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: SIUE at Marquette, 8:30 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Clemson at South Carolina, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Virginia at California, 10 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Kent State at Oregon State, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Aaron Hernandez returned to Suffolk County Superior Court on Tuesday for a pretrial hearing before his second murder trial and was identified by the survivor of a deadly 2012 drive-by shooting in Boston as the shooter in that incident.

Raychides Sanches, who was in a car he claims Hernandez targeted in the South End, said he was the passenger in a car that was stopped at a light when an SUV pulled up next to the car. He said someone in the SUV rolled down his window and said, “What’s up, negroes?” and started shooting.

According to Sanches, the bullets hit 29-year-old Daniel de Abreu and 28-year-old Safiro Furtado.

When asked in court who the shooter was, Sanches nodded at Hernandez and said, “Looked like him. Hernandez.”

Hernandez is facing two counts of murder in the deaths of Furtado and de Abreu. He already is serving a life sentence for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd.

Jury selection for this trial is set to begin on Feb. 13.

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Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Craig Sager, Richard Sherman,
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Aaron Hernandez associate Ernest Wallace acquitted of murder but found guilty of being accessory 05.13.16 at 8:13 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Astros at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Pirates at Cubs, 2 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA playoffs: Raptors at Heat, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Hockey: IIHF World Championships, United States vs. Hungary, 9:30 a.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Ernest Wallace, one of Aaron Hernandez’s associates who was with the former Patriots tight end the night Hernandez shot and killed Odin Lloyd, was acquitted of first-degree murder but found guilty of being an accessory after the fact.

Wallace was sentenced to serve 4 1/2 to seven years in state prison. He has been in custody since turning himself into authorities in June 2013, shortly after Lloyd’s death, and will receive credit for the nearly three years he already has been in custody.

The Bristol Superior Court jury’s decision Thursday came after a 10-week trial and about eight hours of deliberations over two days.

“I very much respect the jury’s verdict,” District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn said in a statement. “They apparently felt there wasn’t sufficient evidence to prove Mr. Wallace and Mr. Hernandez were acting in concert to kill Odin Lloyd. I am happy the jury found the defendant guilty of accessory after the fact to murder, and was involved in the attempt to cover up the crime. I am pleased he will serve a state prison sentence.”

Wallace’s attorney, David E. Meier, also sounded pleased with the result.

“The jury’s verdict on the first-degree murder charge speaks for itself, as does the speed with which the jury returned that verdict,” Meier told The Boston Globe. “In the end, the truth won out. Mr. Wallace looks forward to rejoining his family in Florida as soon as possible and moving on with his life.”

Another man, Carlos Ortiz, faces similar charges and is due to be tried in October. Prosecutors say all three men played meaningful roles in Lloyd’s death after picking him up from his Dorchester apartment.

Hernandez was convicted of first-degree murder last year and is serving a life sentence, which he is appealing. He also faces a double-murder charge for the shooting deaths of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado outside a Boston nightclub in July 2012.

— Russia’s chances of competing in track and field in the upcoming Rio Olympics took a blow Thursday when the World Anti-Doping Agency criticized the country’s oversight of its program.

WADA released statistics indicating that testing by independent authorities in Russia decreased by more than two-thirds in the past year, despite reports of widespread violations by athletes.

On the same day, The New York Times published a story detailing how at the Sochi Games in 2014 Russia switched out urine samples and committed other acts to hide doping in its athletes, including 15 who won medals.

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Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Ernest Wallace, Scott Skiles,