Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 06/28/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
FALL RIVER, Mass. -- A judge on Thursday denied bail for former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, who is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of a friend.
Hernandez's lawyer argued Hernandez is not a risk to flee and the case against him is circumstantial.
But a prosecutor said the evidence is "overwhelming." A search of a Hummer belonging to Hernandez turned up an ammunition clip matching the calibre of casings found at the scene of the killing of Odin Lloyd, the prosecutor said.
Lloyd's body was discovered by a jogger in a remote area of an industrial park not far from Hernandez's home 10 days ago. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors called Lloyd's killing an execution-style shooting orchestrated by Hernandez because his friend talked to the wrong people at a nightclub. Hernandez could face life in prison if convicted.
Hernandez was cut from the NFL team less than two hours after he was arrested and led from his North Attleborough home in handcuffs, and nine days after Lloyd's body was discovered. The 2011 Pro Bowl selection had signed a five-year contract last summer with the Patriots worth $40 million.
Another man, Carlos Ortiz, 27, was arrested Wednesday in Hernandez's hometown of Bristol, Conn., as part of the murder investigation, New Britain State's Attorney Brian Preleski said Thursday. Ortiz was charged as a fugitive from justice and waived extradition to Massachusetts. Prison records show he is being held on $1.5 million bail at a Hartford, Conn., jail.
Meantime, police have been searching a third-floor unit in a condo complex in Franklin, Mass., that Hernandez had visited in recent weeks, according to the unit's next-door neighbour.
Condo resident Carol Bailey said that starting Wednesday and continuing Thursday, police removed items from the modest, two-bedroom rental unit and asked her questions about its occupants. She said a new tenant told her in May he was moving in with his cousin, and she realized later that the second man he had referred to that way was the Patriots player.
Bailey said she believed a black Hummer with expired temporary Ohio tags that was parked at the complex was driven by someone in the condo. She said police towed away the Hummer on Wednesday.
Lloyd, 27, a semi-pro football player with the Boston Bandits, had known Hernandez about a year and was dating the sister of Hernandez's fianc©e, the mother of Hernandez's eight-month-old baby, Bristol County Assistant District Attorney Bill McCauley said.
On June 14, Lloyd went with Hernandez to the Boston nightclub Rumor. McCauley said Hernandez was upset Lloyd had talked to people there with whom Hernandez had trouble. He did not elaborate.
Two days later, McCauley said, Hernandez texted two unidentified friends and asked them to hurry to Massachusetts from Connecticut. At 9:05 p.m., a few minutes after the first message to his friends, Hernandez texted Lloyd to tell him he wanted to get together, McCauley said.
Later, surveillance footage from Hernandez's home showed his friends arrive and go inside. Hernandez, holding a gun, then told someone in the house he was upset and couldn't trust anyone anymore, the prosecutor said.
McCauley said Lloyd was shot multiple times, including twice from above as he was lying on the ground. He said five .45-calibre casings were found at the scene. Authorities did not say who fired the shots or identify the two others with Hernandez.
-- The Associated Press
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 28, 2013 C7
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