Aaron Hernandez Charged with Murder and Held Without Bail
UPDATED: At his arraignment, authorities charged Aaron Hernandez with the murder of Odin Lloyd, a semi-pro football player for the Boston Bandits from Dorchester who was found dead on June 17 in an industrial park close to Hernandez’s North Attleborough home. Prosecutors laid out minute-by-minute their reconstruction of the night Lloyd died based partly on text messages and surveillance footage. Hernandez pled not guilty to murder and to five other gun-related charges, and a judge ordered he be held without bail.
Prosecutors allege Hernandez was mad that Lloyd had spoken with people with whom Hernandez “had troubles” while the two were at the club Rumors together the previous Friday night. Before he picked up Lloyd the night of the murder, Hernandez was caught on tape holding a gun and saying, “You can’t trust anybody anymore,” according to prosecutors. Home surveillance showed him in his home with a gun. After Hernandez picked Lloyd up around 2:30 a.m., Lloyd apparently texted a family member to note that he was riding in a car with “NFL … just so you know.” Those were the last texts he’d send. Prosecutors say Hernandez purchased “blue cotton candy Bubblicious gum” and Black and Mild cigars. (Yes, they were that specific, for reasons that’ll become clear in a minute.) Prosecutors say a silver Nissan Altima, the same kind of car Hernandez had rented, was seen going into and out of the site where Lloyd’s body was found and that video captured Hernandez getting out of the car with a gun at his home at around 3:30 a.m., shortly after the presumed time of death. Investigators found a .45 caliber shell casing and blue Bubblicious gum under the car seat of the rental after Hernandez returned it.
The defense called the evidence circumstantial and weak, noting that authorities haven’t recovered a murder weapon.
Police arrived to Hernandez’s home before 9 a.m. this morning to find him shirtless, and led him away in handcuffs with a white T-shirt pulled over his torso. Soon afteward, the Patriots issued a statement announcing that they’d released Hernandez from the team, saying they were shocked about the news that one of their players was arrested in connection with the murder investigation:
“A young man was murdered last week and we extend our sympathies to the family and friends who mourn his loss. Words cannot express the disappointment we feel knowing that one of our players was arrested as a result of this investigation. We realize that law enforcement investigations into this matter are ongoing. We support their efforts and respect the process. At this time, we believe this transaction is simply the right thing to do.”
Investigators declined to reveal the charges against Hernandez until they were read aloud at his arraignment in front of Lloyd’s family, Hernandez’s fiance, and a lot of media, resulting in a fairly dramatic reading of the charges and the evidence investigators have collected over the past weeks. Hernandez spent several hours in the North Attleborough police station this morning before being taken to Attleboro District Court House for the proceedings.
—Steve Annear contributed to this report