ATTLEBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — Ex-Patriot tight end Aaron Hernandez was ordered held without bail after pleading not guilty to first-degree murder in the death of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd.
Wearing the same white V-neck T-shirt he had on during his arrest at his North Attleboro home Wednesday morning, and just hours after the Patriots released him, Hernandez appeared in Attleboro District Court Wednesday afternoon to hear the charges filed against him; which in addition to first-degree murder included five weapons charges.
Lloyd, who prosecutors revealed was shot five times, was found dead June 17 in a North Attleboro industrial park, about a mile from Hernandez’s home.
Prosecutors, who had been tight-lipped about the investigation for more than a week – laid out a timeline detailing the hours before and days after Lloyd was killed; saying a series of text messages between Hernandez and the victim, surveillance images, and cell phone records tied Hernandez to the murder.
Bristol County prosecutor William McCauley said the night of June 16, Hernandez summoned two of his friends to his North Attleboro home via text and also texted Lloyd, a 27-year-old semi-pro football player for the Boston Bandits, asking to get together with him.
Prosecutors said video surveillance – which investigators seized via warrant from Hernandez’s home – then showed Hernandez’s friends enter his house and the star tight-end holding a firearm while saying “Can’t trust anyone anymore.” Prosecutors say Hernandez was upset that Lloyd, while at a nightclub the Friday before his death, was talking to people the tight end had “troubles” with.
The video then showed the three men at 1:12 a.m. leave Hernandez’s home in a silver Nissan, which prosecutors say was rented in Hernandez’s name. A little over an hour later, Lloyd’s sister told investigators her brother left their Dorchester home and got into the silver Nissan around 2:30 a.m.
Just a half hour later, prosecutors said Lloyd texted his sister, asking if she saw who he was with. When she asked who, he responded at 3:22 a.m. with “NFL” and a minute later with, what prosecutors said was his final text, “Just so you know.”
It was around this same time frame prosecutors said the silver Nissan was seen on video traveling up a gravel road to the industrial park where Lloyd’s body was later found. Between 3:23 a.m. and 3:27 a.m., prosecutors also said workers in the area reported hearing several gunshots.
By 3:29 a.m., prosecutors said Hernandez’s home surveillance video showed the silver Nissan pull into the driveway. They said shortly after that, Hernandez was seen going into the basement of his home, the video went to black, and the surveillance system was shut down for the next six to eight hours.
After hearing from the prosecution and defense, District Court Judge Daniel O’Shea ordered Hernandez held without bail pending his next court appearance in July. The prosecution requested for no bail, citing Hernandez’s means to flee; the seriousness of the charges; and his failure thus far to cooperate with investigators.
Defense attorney Michael Fee – who called the case circumstantial and weak – unsuccessfully argued for bail – stating Hernandez has ties to North Attleboro as a homeowner who lives with his fiancee and their 8-month-old child.