Medical examiner takes stand in Aaron Hernandez murder trial
FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts medical examiner has taken the stand in the murder trial of former New England Patriots star tight end Aaron Hernandez.
Dr. William Zane is expected to be the last witness called by the prosecution before it rests Thursday.
His testimony might be graphic at times. He will be asked to detail the gunshot wounds that killed Odin Lloyd on June 17, 2013.
Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to murder in Lloyd’s killing. Lloyd was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancee.
Lloyd’s mother and other family members were sitting in their usual spot in the front row behind prosecutors Thursday morning. His mother left the room ahead of Zane’s testimony.
Defense lawyer James Sultan has previously said he expects to present witnesses and rest his case Monday.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.
The prosecution is expected to rest in the murder trial of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez after spending more than two months presenting a case against him.
Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to murder in the June 17, 2013, killing of Odin Lloyd, who was dating his fiancée’s sister. Lloyd was killed at an industrial park less than a mile from Hernandez’s home. At the time, Hernandez had a $40 million contract with the Patriots.
The final witness on Thursday is expected to be the medical examiner, who would testify about the damage done to Lloyd’s body after being shot multiple times.
Prosecutors have called more than 100 witnesses since testimony began on Jan. 29, including team owner Robert Kraft, who testified this week that two days after the killing Hernandez looked him in the eye and told him he was innocent. They also submitted hundreds of pieces of evidence, including surveillance videos from inside Hernandez’s own home that showed him holding a black object that appeared to be a gun less than 10 minutes after Lloyd’s killing, and a marijuana joint found near Lloyd’s body that had DNA from both men on it.
Hernandez’s legal team has gone after that evidence, calling into question the testimony of an employee of weapons manufacturer Glock, who had identified the black object in Hernandez’s hand as a gun, and arguing instead that it was a piece of electronics such as an iPad or a TV remote. They also have gone after the police investigation, painting it as bumbling and inept and saying that Hernandez was targeted by police as a suspect because he is a celebrity.
MICHELLE R. SMITH
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