June 28, 2013

Conn. hometown of Hernandez shocked at star's fall

By Pat Eaton-Robb / The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

Former New England Patriots football player Aaron Hernandez enters a courtroom for a bail hearing in Fall River Superior Court on Thursday. Hernandez, charged with murdering Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old semi-pro football player, was denied bail.

AP

Carlos Ortiz, in a photo provided Friday by the Connecticut Department of Correction.

AP

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Ragali recalled seeing Hernandez again, years after high school, at a Hartford bar. He described him as quieter, with more tattoos. But said he was very nice, asked about his family and took pictures with his girlfriend.

It was after his father's death that Hernandez began smoking marijuana and hanging out with a rough crowd, Hernandez's mother, Terri, told USA Today in 2009.

"The shock of losing his dad, there was so much anger," she said at the time.

Hernandez's mother works in the office at the local South Side elementary school, and other family members still live in Bristol.

"All I can say is that he will be cleared of all these charges in the end," she told the Bristol Press outside her home Wednesday. "Just let it play out until the end."

On Wednesday night, police searched a Bristol home and garage owned by Andres Valderrama, whom WFSB-TV identified as an uncle. A message was left at the home Thursday seeking comment.

The Patriots, who cut Hernandez following his arrest Wednesday, drafted him in 2010 and signed him last summer to five-year contract worth $40 million.

During the draft, one team said it wouldn't take him under any circumstances, and he was passed over by one club after another before New England picked him in the fourth round. Afterward, Hernandez said he had failed a drug test in college — reportedly for marijuana — and was up front with teams about it.

A Florida man filed a lawsuit last week claiming Hernandez shot him in the face after they argued at a strip club in February.

Hernandez became a father on Nov. 6 and said he intended to change his ways: "Now, another one is looking up to me. I can't just be young and reckless Aaron no more."

Hernandez could face life in prison if convicted.

 

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