This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 16 October, 2019
Advertisement

Texts, video cited in charges against NFL star Aaron Hernandez

A piece of blue Bubblicious gum and mobile phone tracing is at the centre of the case against the former Patriots tight end.

Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, left, stands with his attorney Michael Fee.
Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, left, stands with his attorney Michael Fee.
Image: AP Photo/The Sun Chronicle, Mike George, Pool)

IN THE FINAL minutes of his life, Odin Lloyd sent a series of texts to his sister.

“Did you see who I was with?” said the first, at 3:07 am on 17 June. “Who?” she finally replied.

“NFL,” he texted back, then added: “Just so you know.”

It was 3:23am. Moments later, Lloyd would be dead in what a prosecutor called an execution-style shooting orchestrated by New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez because his friend talked to the wrong people at a nightclub. Hernandez was charged last night with murder.

Hernandez was cut from the NFL team less than two hours after he was arrested and led from his North Attleborough home in handcuffs, and nine days after Lloyd’s body was discovered by a jogger in a remote area of an industrial park not far from Hernandez’s home. The 2011 Pro Bowl selection had signed a five-year contract last summer with the Patriots worth $40 million.

His attorney, Michael Fee, called the case circumstantial during a Wednesday afternoon court hearing packed with news reporters, curiosity seekers and police officers. Fee said there was a “rather hysterical atmosphere” surrounding the case and urged the judge to disregard his client’s celebrity status as he asked for Hernandez, 23, to be released on bail.

The judge, though, ordered Hernandez to be held without bail on the murder charge and five weapons counts. If convicted, Hernandez could get life in prison without parole.

Cuffed

Hernandez stood impassively with his hands cuffed in front of him as Bristol County Assistant District Attorney Bill McCauley laid out a detailed timeline of the events, cobbled together from sources including witnesses, surveillance video, text messages and data from cell phone towers.

Lloyd, 27, a semi-pro football player with the Boston Bandits, had known Hernandez about a year and was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancée, the mother of Hernandez’s 8-month-old baby, McCauley said.

On 14 June, Lloyd went with Hernandez to a Boston club, Rumor. McCauley said Hernandez was upset Lloyd had talked to people there with whom Hernandez had trouble. He did not elaborate.

Two days later, McCauley said, on 16 June, Hernandez texted two unidentified friends. He asked them to hurry to Massachusetts from Connecticut. At 9:05pm, a few minutes after the first message to his friends, Hernandez texted Lloyd, telling him he wanted to get together, McCauley said.

Later, surveillance footage from Hernandez’s home showed his friends arrive and go inside. Hernandez, holding a gun, then told someone in the house he was upset and couldn’t trust anyone anymore, the prosecutor said.

At 1:12 am, the three left in Hernandez’s rented silver Nissan Altima, McCauley said. Cell towers tracked their movements to a gas station off the highway. There, he said, Hernandez bought blue Bubblicious cotton candy gum.

At 2:32am, they arrived outside Lloyd’s home in Boston and texted him that they were there. McCauley said Lloyd’s sister saw him get into Hernandez’s car.

From there, surveillance cameras captured images of what the prosecutor said was Hernandez driving the silver Altima through the city of Boston. As they drove back toward North Attleborough, Hernandez told Lloyd he was upset about what happened at the club and didn’t trust him, McCauley said. That was when Lloyd began sending texts to his sister.

Surveillance video showed the car entering the industrial park and at 3:23am driving down a gravel road near where Lloyd’s body was found. Four minutes later, McCauley said, the car emerges. During that period, employees working an overnight shift nearby heard several gunshots, McCauley said.

McCauley said Lloyd was shot multiple times, including twice from above as he was lying on the ground. He said five .45 caliber casings were found at the scene. Authorities did not say who fired the shots or identify the two others with Hernandez.

At 3:29 a.m., surveillance at Hernandez’s house shows him arriving, McCauley said.

“The defendant was walking through the house with a gun in his hand. That’s captured on video,” he said.

His friend is also seen holding a gun, and neither weapon has been found, McCauley said. Then, the surveillance system stopped recording, and footage was missing from the six to eight hours after the slaying, he said.

Two members of the Massachusetts State Police walk toward the front door of the home of New England Patriot’s NFL football player Aaron Hernandez. (AP Photo/Erika Niedowski)

The afternoon of 17 June, the prosecutor said, Hernandez returned the rental car, offering the attendant a piece of blue Bubblicious gum when he dropped it off. While cleaning the car, the attendant found a piece of blue Bubblicious gum and a shell casing, which he threw away. Police later searched the trash bin and found the gum and the casing. The prosecutor said it was tested and matched the casings found where Lloyd was killed.

As McCauley outlined the killing, Lloyd’s family members cried and held each other, and two were so overcome that they had to leave the courtroom.

The Patriots said in a written statement after Hernandez’s arrest but before the murder charge was announced that cutting Hernandez was “the right thing to do.”

“Words cannot express the disappointment we feel knowing that one of our players was arrested as a result of this investigation,” it said.

Pic: ‘Lock Up Your Sheilas!’ – The Maynooth lads are here

Tevez handed Del Piero’s number 10 at Juventus

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

Associated Press

Read next:

COMMENTS (4)