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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Trial for former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez expected to last 6-10 weeks

Hearing The murder trial of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez is expected to take 6 to 10 weeks, prosecutors in Fall River, Massachusetts, said Monday. Hernandez was in Bristol County Superior Court for one of his final hearings before his January trial in the 2013 killing of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd in an industrial park near Hernandez’s home. Dressed in a dark blazer, Hernandez sat silently during the hearing. He answered “yes” to a series of questions regarding jury selection and other trial procedures. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to Lloyd’s murder. He has also pleaded not guilty to the fatal shootings of two men in 2012 after an encounter at a Boston nightclub. Hernandez’s final pre-trial hearing in the Lloyd slaying has been scheduled for Jan. 6. Jury selection will begin Jan. 9 and is expected to take until about Jan. 20.

Improving Former NBA player Carl Herrera is out of intensive care in Caracas, Venezuela, and improving following a weekend shooting, the team he coaches and one of his sons said. The Gigantes de Guayana team said in a series of Twitter posts that Herrera, the first Venezuelan to play in the NBA, is no longer in critical condition “and is improving day by day.” Herrera, 48, was shot Saturday during an apparent robbery attempt at a restaurant on Margarita Island off Venezuela’s Caribbean coast. Herrera, 48, was a power forward during the 1990s for Houston, San Antonio, Vancouver and Denver.

Waived The Detroit Pistons have waived forward Josh Smith, 29, less than two years after signing him to a $54 million, four-year free-agent contract. The Pistons are 5-23 and coach and team president Stan Van Gundy said the club wants to develop younger players.

Agreed Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster, widely viewed as one of college football’s top defensive minds, signed a five-year contract with a significant raise to remain with the Hokies. He has held the position since 1995.

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