Murder victim text messages 'NFL' moments before killing orchestrated by Aaron Hernandez, prosecutor says
Murder charges were leveled Wednesday against former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez who prosecutors say orchestrated the execution-style killing of a semi-professional football player in the early morning hours of June 17.
Bristol County Assistant District Attorney Bill McCauley laid out a detailed timeline of the alleged events at the arraignment inside the Attleboro District courtroom that was packed with journalists, reporters and family members of the victim, Odin Lloyd.
McCauley also noted a series of text messages sent from Llyod’s cell phone to his sister.
“Did you see who I was with?” said the first message, at 3:07 a.m. on June 17. “Who?” she finally replied.
“NFL,” he texted back, then added: “Just so you know.”
It was 3:23 a.m. Moments later, Lloyd would be dead, McCauley said.
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 June 14, 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 June 16, Hernandez texted two unidentified friends. He asked them to hurry to Massachusetts from Connecticut. At 9:05 p.m., 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 a.m., 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 2:32 a.m., 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 3:23 a.m. 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.
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 held without bail on the murder charge and five weapons counts. If convicted, Hernandez could get life in prison without parole.
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.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
Via: Fox News