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Aaron Hernandez Update: Ex-NFL star takes stand in murder case hearing, prosecutors want judge out

Aaron Hernandez in Fall River Superior Court in Fall River, Mass., Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013.
CBS Boston

(CBS) FALL RIVER, Mass. - Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez took the stand Wednesday afternoon in a pre-trial hearing in his murder case so that the judge could question him about a potential conflict of interest involving one of his attorneys.

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Hernandez's defense attorney Michael Fee is a partner at Ropes and Gray as is Assistant District Attorney Patrick Bomber's wife.

At the hearing Wednesday in Fall River Superior Court, Fee said his association with the prosecutor's wife will not affect his ability to help represent Hernandez.

After a series of "yes" and "no" questions from the judge, Hernandez agreed to keep Fee despite the potential for a conflict of interest.

READ: Timeline of Aaron Hernandez murder investigation

Also in the hearing Wednesday, prosecutors said they want the judge to recuse herself.

Assistant District Attorney William McCauley says he plans to file a motion to ask Judge Susan Garsh to give up the case. He hasn't explained why but says the state does not take the request lightly.

Hernandez's lawyers say they'll object to a recusal. The judge didn't hear arguments on the issue.

A gag order was also addressed in the hearing.

Hernandez's attorney said a "torrent" of information has been "leaked" to the media. He also submitted news articles citing law enforcement sources.

The judge asked prosecutors if they had made any effort to investigate where the leaks had come from.

Prosecutors said many of the reports attributed to law enforcement sources are wrong.

The judge told both sides the rules of professional conduct are sufficient and that there would be no gag order for now.

In a discussion about preserving evidence, prosecutors were told they will have to let the defense know if they come across any lost or destroyed evidence. The prosecution was also ordered to tell police to save all evidence in the case.

Hernandez wore a tie for the first time in his many court appearances since his arrest back in June. At one point during the hearing, the judge allowed a request from Hernandez's attorney to have his handcuffs removed.

Hernandez was indicted in August in the shooting death of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player from Dorchester, who was dating the sister of Hernandez's girlfriend. He pleaded not guilty to murder and five weapons-related charges in the case last month.

Four others, including Hernandez's girlfriendand cousin, are facing charges in the case.

Hernandez is beingheld without bail.

Complete coverage of Aaron Hernandez on Crimesider

  • Stephanie Slifer

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