June 28, 2013

Ex-Patriot Hernandez denied bail in murder case

From the bench, the judge says she considered the case against Aaron Hernandez to be “circumstantial, to be sure, but very, very strong.”

The Associated Press

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Former New England Patriots football tight end Aaron Hernandez listens during a bail hearing in Fall River Superior Court on Thursday in Massachusetts.

The Associated Press

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Shayanna Jenkins, fiancee of former New England Patriots football player Aaron Hernandez, listens in the courtroom during a bail hearing for Hernandez in Fall River Superior Court on Thursday in Massachusetts.

The Associated Press

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On Thursday night, Massachusetts state police said they were seeking another man, Ernest Wallace, in connection with Lloyd's killing. They issued an alert and wanted poster for Wallace, saying he was considered armed and dangerous, and sought the public's help in tracking down a silver or gray 2012 Chrysler 300 with Rhode Island license plates he was seen driving.

Earlier Thursday, residents of a condo complex in Franklin, a 20-minute drive from North Attleborough, described seeing a two-day police search of the unit that neighbors believed Hernandez was renting. Carol Bailey, who lives next door to the two-bedroom unit, said police removed items from the third-floor condo and asked her questions about its occupants. She said a new tenant of the unit told her in May that he was moving in with his cousin and she realized later that the second man was the Patriots player.

"I thought, 'This is Aaron Hernandez. He's renting a place here so he can have some peace and quiet,'" Bailey said Thursday.

She said she didn't see the two men often but Hernandez always had a hoodie pulled up when she saw him.

"I think all of us who recognized who it was didn't want to invade his privacy," she said.

Bailey said police towed a black Hummer with expired, temporary Ohio tags from the condo on Wednesday.

Complex resident Kathleen McKeown, whose front door is a few feet from the unit police searched, said there were things that struck her as strange even before that. She said someone had plugged an air freshener into a hallway wall outlet outside the unit and put a jar with fragrance sticks on the floor by the door, as if to mask an odor.

"I thought, 'Why would two guys be worried about the smell out in the hall?'" she said.

Authorities have said trouble that led to Lloyd's killing happened on June 14, when Lloyd went with Hernandez to a Boston nightclub.

"Apparently, Mr. Lloyd saw some people that he knew and began conversing with them," McCauley said Thursday. "The defendant took exception to that."

Previously, McCauley had said only that Hernandez had unspecified trouble with the people and that a few hours before the killing he told a friend he couldn't trust anyone anymore.

Prosecutors have said that on June 16 Hernandez and two unidentified friends picked up Lloyd from his Boston home in a rented silver Nissan Maxima, took him to a remote area of an industrial park and shot him five times.

Lloyd, in the minutes before his death, sent a series of texts to his sister, who had seen him get into the car.

"Did you see who I was with?" said the first, at 3:07 a.m. June 17.

"Who?" she finally replied.

"NFL," he texted back, then added: "Just so you know."

Prosecutors have said they used cellphone tower data, text messages and surveillance video, including video from the security system Hernandez installed inside his home, to reconstruct his movements that night.

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