Supreme Court strikes down law blocking disparaging trademarks

The Supreme Court struck down part of a federal law that denies trademark protection of terms that disparage living or dead. The ruling could benefit the NFL’s Washington Redskins, whose trademark was canceled based on the same law in a separate procee…

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Tom Brady is the new face of Aston Martin

First it was Ugg and Tag Heuer. Now Tom Brady has signed on with another upscale brand.

While most NFL players rep everyman pick-up trucks, Brady has teamed up with Aston Martin. The British car is the ultimate symbol of luxury that James Bond famously drives.

Brady, a longtime customer, drives the new 2017 Aston Martin DB11, which retails for about $215,000.

As part of the new partnership, the Patriots QB will also design his own version of an Aston Martin, which will debut this summer. Brady fans, fear not: The entire process will be captured on video.

The deal with Aston Martin is a big departure from the car deals that NFL players typically score.

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning has a deal with Toyota, while both Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers and Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt have had deals with Ford.

The Aston Martin campaign is called “Category of One: Why Beautiful Matters.”

It’s part of a long-term partnership and will center around Brady’s “affinity for the love of beautiful,” according to a release that would delight Patriots fans.

“Brady will seek to share visualisations of where he sees beauty in his sporting moments, what he sees as beautiful in life, and what continues to compel him to pursue greatness after five Super Bowl wins and four MVP Awards,” the release said.

Maybe Brady does have an affinity for beauty — after all, he is married to Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen.

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New details in Aaron Hernandez’s apparent prison suicide

Before Aaron Hernandez hanged himself, he stuffed cardboard in the tracks of his cell door, making it difficult for prison officers to enter and render aid.

That was not a new tactic for Hernandez. He had twice previously been disciplined for tampering with the door and covering its entrance, according to a review of his disciplinary records at Souza-Baranowski Correctional Facility.

In addition, Hernandez did not have drugs in his system when he was found naked hanging from a bedsheet in his prison cell, according to a death investigation from Massachusetts State Police and the Worcester County district attorney.

Correction officers found Hernandez amid a gruesome scene, with drawings on the wall and “John 3:16” markings written in a substance consistent with blood, the investigation found.

The two reports, released to CNN in public records requests on Thursday afternoon, provide further details into the former NFL star’s apparent suicide in prison in the early morning hours on April 19.

Hernandez had been serving a sentence of life in prison for the June 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd. Hernandez’s death came just days after he was acquitted of two murder charges related to a July 2012 drive-by shooting outside a Boston nightclub.

Cell had been blocked before

Hernandez was found dead at 3 a.m. when a correction officer noticed a sheet hanging in front of Hernandez’s cell door and asked that he remove it or sound off, according to the report.

The officer poked at the sheet and it fell, revealing Hernandez hanged from a sheet tied to the window bars. Hernandez had “pegged” the door to his cell by stuffing its tracks with cardboard, making entry difficult, the report states.

He had obscured officers’ view of his cell before. The prison disciplinary records detail an incident shortly after Hernandez was convicted of murdering Lloyd.

On May 17, 2015, a guard visited Hernandez’s cell to check for marks and bruising following an alleged altercation.

“I ask for the cell door to open, but the inmate had the door blocked, making it difficult to open at first,” according to a report of the offense.

He was accused of tampering with a locking device, and disciplined. tampering with a locking device, and was disciplined with loss of 60 units from his canteen for that offense.

Two months later, a guard doing a cell check found a curtain hanging from the top bunk of Hernandez’s cell. A curtain was also hung across the doorway, obstructing the view into the cell, records show.

Hernandez pleaded guilty to the offense and was docked 15 units from his canteen as discipline.

Blood drawings on wall

The night of his death, Hernandez had placed a large amount of shampoo on the floor to his cell, making it very slippery, according to the investigation report. Ligature marks were visible on his neck, and there was discharge and vomit coming from his nose and mouth areas, the report states.

The report also says that Hernandez’s right middle finger had a “fresh” cut and that there was blood on his other fingers. In addition, there was a large circular blood mark on each of his feet and “John 3:16” was written on his forehead in ink.

No other signs of trauma were found on his body, and there were no signs of a struggle, the report states.

Underneath the drawings on the wall was a Bible open to John 3:16, with the 16th verse marked in blood, according to the report. Three handwritten notes, the text of which are redacted in the report, were also found next to the Bible.

John 3:16 is a reference to the well-known Biblical verse, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

1 a.m. cell check

Hernandez had been locked in his cell at 8:00 p.m. the evening before his death. At 1:00 a.m., a correction officer saw him during a cell check.

Surveillance video shows that no one entered or left his cell from 8:00 p.m. until he was discovered just after 3:00 a.m., according to the report.

Video also shows Hernandez had just gotten off the phone prior to being locked in the cell. The previous five phone calls he made that day did not give any apparent indication that he planned to harm himself, according to the report.

A postmortem toxicology test came back negative for all substances, including synthetic cannabinoids.

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Man faces manslaughter charge in fatal shooting of former FSU football star’s father

A man faces a manslaughter charge in the shooting death of the father of former Florida State University football star Travis Rudolph at a South Florida adult nightclub, authorities said.

Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Teri Barbera said Paul Senat, 36, of Lantana, was arrested Tuesday in what was initially deemed to be an accidental shooting.

Barbera said Darryl Rudolph, 55, was found with a gunshot wound early Saturday in a back storage room at Sugar Daddy’s Cabaret in West Palm Beach.

He was taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center, where he died.

Barbera said detectives determined that Rudolph was at the club repairing items when Senat, who works at the club, moved a firearm off a shelf in an adjacent room.

The gun discharged, striking Rudolph in the back of the neck, Barbera said.

Travis Rudolph, who played football at Cardinal Newman High School, left FSU after his junior season to declare for the upcoming NFL draft. The wide receiver made headlines last summer after he ate with an autistic boy who was sitting alone while the Seminoles were visiting a Tallahassee middle school.

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Man who killed NFL star Will Smith sentenced to 25 years

The man who shot and killed former New Orleans Saints player Will Smith in a road rage incident was sentenced Thursday in Orleans Parish Criminal District Court, according to court documents.

Cardell Hayes was sentenced to 25 years in prison without the possibility of parole for manslaughter in the death of Smith, and 15 years for attempted manslaughter in the shooting of his wife, Racquel Smith.

Judge Camille Buras ordered the sentences be served concurrently.

Hayes had faced a maximum of 60 years in prison, 40 years for manslaughter and 20 years for attempted manslaughter, according to Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro.

Racquel Smith was not happy with the sentence. A statement provided to CNN affiliate WVUE said in part:

“My family and I are extremely disappointed with today’s sentencing and the leniency showed by Judge Buras for the defendant. While we know nothing will ever bring Will back, we were hopeful that Judge Buras would have issued a stronger sentence to more justly reflect both the nature of the crimes and the tremendous loss and pain that my family has suffered as a result of Mr. Hayes’ violent actions on the night of April 9, 2016.

“This ordeal has been a nightmare for me and my family. There are no winners here today. Today’s sentencing does not bring back Will and leaves another child to grow up without a father. I pray for the other families of New Orleans that are dealing with the same tragedy that comes with the loss of life at the hands of senseless violence. Will loved this city and we must do better together to enact serious change so that Will’s unnecessary murder is not in vain.”

Smith, as well as her late husband’s aunt, sister and sister-in-law, among others, testified Wednesday, each giving victim impact statements, court documents show.

Hayes’ mother and others spoke to his character on Thursday, and WVUE reported that a weeping Hayes took the stand and addressed the victim’s children, saying, “To not have a father around, I know what you’re going through. I wish that night had never happened.”

Hayes was originally also charged with second-degree murder, but the jury returned a guilty verdict on the lesser charge of manslaughter in December 2016.

The district attorney said several things probably led to that decision: Testimony that a hit-and-run involving the two men happened before the shooting, that Smith got out of his vehicle in an aggressive manner and that Smith had a blood-alcohol content well above the legal level.

Both Hayes and Racquel Smith testified in the high-profile case, which drew national attention and cast a harsh spotlight on violence in New Orleans.

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Dolphins’ Pouncey expresses sympathy over loss of ‘friend’ Hernandez

Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey is drawing criticism after honoring Aaron Hernandez following his suicide this morning.

Pouncey used Instagram to post a picture of a smiling Hernandez along with words of mourning over his former teammate at the University of Florida.

“To my friend my brother!,” Pouncey wrote on the post. “Through thick and thin right or wrong we never left each other’s side. Today my heart hurts as I got the worse news I could have imagined. It was just a day ago we shared our last convo. I will forever miss you and love you bro. we will meet again rest easy!”

The post drew instant criticism with many reminding Pouncey that Hernandez was a convicted murderer who was spending the rest of his life in prison.

One person commented, “Friend or no friend that man was a murder… Rip but ain’t no heart break about somebody who kills.”

Another wrote, “He deserves no sympathy. He killed a man in cold blood, planned out mind you, and chose to take the cowards way out instead of serving the sentence he’s been handed.”

Pouncey and Hernandez were teammates at Florida from 2007-2010, where they won a national championship in 2009.

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