Aaron Hernandez

Key moments in murder trial of ex-NFL star Aaron Hernandez


Aaron Hernandez, rear, and his attorney Charles Rankin watch surveillance video of Hernandez handling cell phones during his murder trial at the Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River, Mass. on Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015. Hernandez is accused in the June 17, 2013, killing of Odin Lloyd, who was dating his fiancée's sister. (AP Photo/Dominick Reuter, Pool)

Aaron Hernandez, rear, and his attorney Charles Rankin watch surveillance video of Hernandez handling cell phones during his murder trial at the Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River, Mass. on Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015. Hernandez is accused in the June 17, 2013, killing of Odin Lloyd, who was dating his fiancée’s sister. (AP Photo/Dominick Reuter, Pool)

FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — A mysterious box in the basement. A marijuana joint found near the victim with the suspect’s DNA on it. A mother’s tears. A fiancee’s allegiance.

As jurors weigh the evidence against former New England Patriots star tight end Aaron Hernandez, here’s a look at some of the key moments in his murder trial stemming from the June 2013 shooting death of Odin Lloyd, who was dating the sister of his fiancee:

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THE EVIDENCE

Prosecutors produced neither a murder weapon nor a witness to Lloyd’s shooting in a North Attleborough industrial park. Their case hinges on other elements: cellphone records showing Hernandez and two friends communicating with Lloyd around the time of the slaying; Lloyd’s phone pinging cell towers between Boston and North Attleborough; surveillance video at Hernandez’s home showing him holding a black item that appeared to be a gun minutes after workers at the industrial park heard gunshots; a joint found near Lloyd’s body with Hernandez’s and Lloyd’s DNA on it.

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THE DEFENSE

During his closing arguments, Hernandez lawyer James Sultan for the first time acknowledged what that evidence pointed to: Hernandez was there when Lloyd was killed. But he described Hernandez as a witness, a 23-year-old kid who didn’t know what to do after seeing a shocking crime. Sultan pinned it on Hernandez’s two co-defendants, Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, both of whom have pleaded not guilty and will be tried later. His lawyers said investigators fixated on Hernandez because he was a celebrity, and they pointed to what they called gaping holes in the investigation. The biggest? Prosecutors never put forward a feasible motive for why Hernandez would have put his career and life on the line to kill Lloyd. Hernandez himself never took the stand.

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JURY’S ROAD TRIP

Midway through the trial, jurors boarded a bus to tour key spots in the case, including Hernandez’s home, the street where the victim lived and the spot where his body was found. State police stood guard as the jury inspected the street in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood where Lloyd lived with his mother and sisters. Jurors also trekked out in the cold to the snow-covered gravel lot where Lloyd’s bullet-ridden body was found, and they toured Hernandez’s mansion a mile from the crime scene.

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TEARS FOR A SON

Lloyd’s mother, Ursula Ward, wept quietly at times during the trial. Overcome with emotion, she would sometimes leave the courtroom in tears when jurors were shown graphic photos of her 27-year-old son’s body. Before Ward testified, Superior Court Judge Susan Garsh ordered her not to cry on the stand. Ward remained stoic. When photos of Lloyd’s body in the morgue were shown, she mouthed the words, “My baby, my baby.”

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HERNANDEZ’S FIANCEE

Hernandez’s fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins, was compelled to testify after she was granted immunity from prosecution. Wearing her large diamond engagement ring, Jenkins testified that Hernandez had told her in the days following the shooting that he was not involved. Jenkins testified that she removed a box from their basement at his request the day after the slaying but never looked inside before she dumped it in a random trash bin. Prosecutors said the box may have held evidence including the murder weapon, which was never found. She avoided looking at Hernandez during her testimony. The couple has a 2-year-old daughter.

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THE SISTERS

Jenkins and her younger sister, Shaneah, both attended the trial at times — but they sat on opposite sides of the courtroom. Shayanna sat behind Hernandez and could be seen joking with him, several times exchanging whispered “I love yous” when she attended. Shaneah would sit with Lloyd’s family. Before he was killed, she and Lloyd had made plans to move in together while she attended law school in Boston. Both sisters testified while the other sat in the audience, watching and sometimes seeming annoyed. Shayanna said their relationship was “estranged, kind of.” Both were in court for closing arguments, but they appeared to ignore each other.

MICHELLE R. SMITH

Source: AP

Copyright 2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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tee tay says:

This ONE person has caused much pain and division into peoples lives whether they allowed it or they did not allow it. HE TOOK IT UPON HIMSELF which is AH DOWNFALL, arrogance. THE MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION IS, will these jurors ALLOW ALL THE EVIDENCE THAT WAS WELL PUT BEFORE THEM AT CLOSING, will they use the evidence to see through all of the deceit, lies and set-ups from this ONE man? Will justice be properly handed down or overlooked with another smack on the hand? Will this ONE man be able to continue to play GOD in peples lives? He feels he has the right to produce his child, but then thinks he has the right, power and authority to that the “breath of life” from OL or any other man, when and where he chooses? We ALL “reap what we sow” from janitors to 32 multi-millionaires, we all wake up and make OUR OWN choices of right or wrong…WE HAVE TO LIVE WITH THEM ONCE WE’RE CAUGHT…..DO THE CRIME, DO THE TIME. We are our own person we need to stop trying to control other peoples lives, stop manipulating them all because of money and fame. Then for those without much, don’t sell your soul for money or be manipulated for it, because of what someone else has. Live YOUR life in accord with right and only then, will you be clear in the end of a murder and then there will only be ONE man to blame, the culprit of it all with his own blueprints of the murder and weapon and you know, just like when your pointing your finger at someone or holding a gun in this case and there’s three pointing back at you, well in this case the three fingers are AH, W, O. Had W and O allowed him to carry his own plot or plans out himself without manipulation, in the end, those three fingers would’ve ONLY been pointing to the original mastermind of this plan-AH. AH has no right to plot, plan, take or end a life, end of story.

   
Rocky says:

This Aaron thug has been killing and beating up people for a long time.. Lets put him in prison so he can live the life with other thugs.. this ain’t the first bad thing he has done and he won’t quit till he is dead,,

   
Crystal Malachowski says:

I think you missed some key evidence in your article up above. Such as the bullet shell casings? The ones at the scene matching the ones in the rental car and dumpster (the one attached to the piece of Aaron’s gum) also the shoe prints. Along with a few other things the writer of this article missed.

   

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