(FALL RIVER, Mass.) — Two people who were near an industrial plant on the night former NFL star Aaron Hernandez is accused of killing an acquaintance testified Monday they heard a series of loud bangs that prosecutors argue were gunshots.
One woman told the Massachusetts court she was sleeping in her car on the night that Odin Lloyd is believed to have died and she heard noises around 3:30 a.m. June 17, 2013.
“I heard a loud bang, maybe four or five times. Two slow ones, three fast ones,” Barbara Chan said Monday morning.
Michael Ribeiro, who worked the night shift at the nearby factory and who regularly took a break to listen to a radio show in his car around 3 a.m., heard something similar.
Neither witness saw the alleged shooting, but Ribeiro said he heard “loud banging sound[s] like fireworks, about six or eight times.”
Hernandez is on trial in the killing of Lloyd, a semi-professional football player who was dating Hernandez’s then-fiancee’s sister at the time of his death.
One controversial portion of testimony that was discussed in court Monday but not officially entered into evidence was a series of texts that Lloyd apparently sent to his sister around the time of his death. The judge ruled Friday that the texts should not be included because they would prompt the jury to speculate about their content.
The judge has since reversed that decision, however, and Monday said she would allow the number of texts, the times the texts were sent and the location from where they were sent to be allowed in court. That information has not yet been presented.
Monday marks the 13th day of the former NFL star’s trial. Though they were a regular presence early on, none of Hernandez’s relatives were in court again on Monday, making it the fourth day in a row.
State law enforcement and investigation figures were called to the stand following Chan and Ribeiro, including a state police officer who found a gun near the reported crime scene.
The gun shown in court Monday had two bullets when it was found, but it is not believed to be the alleged murder weapon. Police have never found the weapon that was used to allegedly kill Lloyd.
Sgt. William Tarbokas of the Massachusetts State Police then told how he took Lloyd’s fingerprints while he was being held at the medical examiner’s office. Prosecutors argue that the fingerprints prove that he was present inside Hernandez’s rented car before his death.
He has been charged with murder and weapons-related charges. He has pled not guilty.
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