Testimony: Several Hernandez texts are missing from phone
FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — Texts and phone records shown to jurors Friday in the murder trial of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez showed that several messages he exchanged with a co-defendant before the killing were deleted from his phone.
Evidence presented to the jury Friday also showed multiple calls placed from the phone of co-defendant Ernest Wallace to the victim, Odin Lloyd, in the hours before he was killed, including the same minute that Lloyd was seen getting into a car outside his home about an hour before he died early on June 17, 2013.
The records showed that Hernandez, at times using his lawyer’s phone, called Wallace repeatedly the night of June 17 after police had gone to his home and asked him to come to the station while they investigated Lloyd’s death.
Ricardo Leal, who works for the phone company Sprint, testified for 3.5 hours Friday.
Prosecutor Patrick Bomberg went through dozens of nondeleted text messages Hernandez exchanged with Wallace in the days surrounding the killing. Prosecutors have previously said Lloyd sent his last text to his sister at 3:23 a.m. and was killed within minutes, shot to death at an industrial park near Hernandez’s home in North Atteborough.
Lloyd was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancee.
Wallace and a third man, Carlos Ortiz, are also charged and have pleaded not guilty. They will be tried separately. Prosecutors have said Hernandez orchestrated the killing.
Bomberg on Friday showed the jury several texts from Hernandez to Wallace hours before the killing in which Hernandez pushed Wallace to come see him.
One, at 9:02 p.m., said “Please make it back Cuz Im Def trying to step for a little.” Another, at 10:23 p.m., told him to “hurry up” with a couple of expletives.
On June 11, Hernandez asked Wallace if he removed everything from a car, “clip and cds and everything?” The following day, he tells Wallace he needs “those keys” and things are “crazy.”
“U gotta listen yo,” he writes. “I need them by 6 man please head back now.”
A few hours later, early on June 13, he writes: “I wanted to kill u but u kno I love u hit me tomorrow get some rest and tell the rest I love them.”
Leal testified that several other text messages that appeared in records did not appear on the phone. It’s not clear yet whether investigators were able to retrieve them.
He also testified that records showed Wallace’s phone was used to call Lloyd five times between 1:22 a.m. and 2:32 a.m. on June 17. Video surveillance previously shown to the jury showed Lloyd getting into the back seat of a sedan at 2:32 a.m. outside his home.
Lloyd’s body was found the evening of June 17, and police soon tied him to Hernandez because Lloyd had a key in his pocket to a Chevrolet Suburban that Hernandez had rented. That night, police went to Hernandez’s home and asked him to go to the police station, which he did.
Video from the police station parking lot previously shown to the jury showed Hernandez using his lawyer’s phone to make several calls.
Phone records introduced Friday showed Hernandez repeatedly calling Wallace the night of June 17 and early the next morning, often using the lawyer’s phone. More than a dozen calls were made to Wallace that night between 9:47 p.m. and about 2:20 a.m. from Hernandez’s phone, his lawyer’s phone or the phone of his fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins.
Phone records introduced Friday also showed several calls placed from Wallace’s phone to Oscar Hernandez, who has been tied to a gun found in Aaron Hernandez’s home and who pleaded guilty last month to lying to a grand jury, witness tampering, obstruction of justice and a gun conspiracy charge. The two Hernandezes are not related.
After the killing, records showed Oscar Hernandez calling Wallace’s phone several times, Leal testified.
MICHELLE R. SMITH
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