(FALL RIVER, Mass.) — The murder of Odin Lloyd began with a text message, prosecutors said Thursday at former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez’s murder trial in Bristol County, Massachusetts, as they laid out their timeline of the killing.
Hernandez “texted Odin Lloyd,” with whom other messages suggested he was upset, Assistant District Attorney Patrick Bombger told jurors in his opening statement. “He told Odin Lloyd he was going to come out to his house that night.”
Hernandez was driving when he, Carlos Ortiz and Ernest Wallace picked up Lloyd from his home at 2:30 a.m. on June 17, 2013, and brought him to an industrial park not far from Gillette Stadium, where Hernandez was a standout Patriots tight end with a $40 million contract, Bomberg said.
“Odin Lloyd was shot six times,” Bomberg told the jury.
Hernandez, Ortiz and Wallace “left evidence at the scene, they took evidence with them,” Bomberg said. “In some cases, they were successful at destroying evidence.”
The weapon in the killing of Lloyd, 27, a semi-pro football player, has never been recovered.
Hernandez, who has pleaded not guilty to Lloyd’s murder, sat at the defense table in a dark suit, white shirt and light colored tie.
Ortiz and Wallace also have pleaded not guilty in the case and will be tried separately.
Hernandez’s defense attorney, Michael Fee, in his opening statement, declared his client “an innocent man” and called the prosecution’s account of events “just a story and it’s not true.”
“Aaron Hernandez did not murder his friend Odin Lloyd,” Fee told the jury.
Fee insisted his client lacked intent to murder and said the prosecutors are only trying to “dazzle and distract.”
“You come with an open mind,” Fee said. “Give us a chance to show you the truth.”
Nevertheless, Bomberg asserted Hernandez “committed the crime of murder” and he said video surveillance, cellphone records and photographs “show the path.”
Ten minutes after Lloyd was shot, video surveillance showed Hernandez, Ortiz and Wallace return to Hernandez’s house, where Hernandez was seen at the entrance to his basement holding a gun.
“That, ladies and gentlemen, is a Glock,” Bomberg said.
Lloyd’s relatives sat in court as the prosecutor explained where he was shot and the shell casings that were found. A tear was seen rolling down the cheek of Lloyd’s mother, and other relatives sobbed or comforted one another.
It was the defense that first tied Hernandez to the team now preparing for the Super Bowl.
In June 2013, “Aaron Hernandez was in his offseason with the New England Patriots and enjoying his lifestyle,” Fee said.
It was a lifestyle, Fee added, that was not unusual for an unmarried 23-year-old professional athlete. Hernandez liked to drink, Fee said, liked to smoke marijuana and liked to go to nightclub with his friends, one of whom was Lloyd.
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