Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez has been charged with murder in the death of 27-year-old semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd, who was found shot execution style about a half-mile from Hernandez’s Massachusetts home.
Hernandez, who was arrested Wednesday morning and released by the Patriots hours later, faces a total of six charges, the most significant being murder. Hernandez also faces chargers of possessing a firearm without a license, possessing a large capacity firearm and a firearm without an ID card.
Hernandez, 23, entered a plea of not guilty to all charges. Judge Daniel J. O’Shea ordered that Hernandez be held without bail.
Lloyd, according to the prosecutor, was shot multiple times.
The prosecutor also explained that there was no evidence of a robbery, and that Lloyd’s phone showed communications with Hernandez in the hours preceding his death. Lloyd’s sister told authorities that Lloyd left his home that morning at 2:30 a.m. in a car believed to belong to Hernandez.
The prosecutor told the court that roughly six to eight hours of footage were missing from Hernandez’s surveillance system after the murder. The prosecutor likewise outlined a series of text messages indicating a desire by Hernandez to meet with Lloyd, along with instructions that one or more others urging them to return to the area, presumably for the meeting with Lloyd.
Text messages and public surveillance cameras, per the prosecutor, indicate that Hernandez picked up Lloyd at 2:30 a.m. ET and drove back to North Attleboro. The prosecutor claims that Hernandez then told Lloyd he was upset that Lloyd had said certain things to others, making it hard for Hernandez to trust him.
Likewise, the prosecutor explained that Lloyd sent text messages while in the car with Hernandez, making others aware that he was with Hernandez.
The prosecutor said that workers at the industrial park heard gunshots, and that surveillance cameras allow prosecutors to piece together that the car Hernandez was driving was at the industrial park, and within minutes thereafter at Hernandez’s home.
The prosecutor said that Hernandez’s surveillance system shows a person getting out of the car with a gun after the shooting, and walking through the house with the gun. Shortly after that, the surveillance system shuts down.
Perhaps most importantly, the prosecutor said a shell casing was found in the car rented by Hernandez. It matches the shell casings found at the scene of the shooting, according to the prosecutor.
The prosecutor called it an “execution,” and he characterized Hernandez as the person who orchestrated the crime, had the motive and means to kill Lloyd, and engaged in efforts to cover up the crime, including telling his fiancée to stop talking to police.