June 22, 2013

Arrest warrants prepared against Patriots' Hernandez, reports indicate

A new search Saturday of Hernandez's home involved several officers accompanied by what appeared to be crime scene experts.

The Hartford Courant

NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH, Mass. — Aaron Hernandez remained a free man Saturday as reports mounted that an arrest warrant was prepared to charge him with interfering with an investigation into a shooting death of a man who was dating his girlfriend's sister.

Police spent about four hours Saturday at Hernandez's house, from 1:45 p.m. to about 5:30 p.m. Some officers carried paper bags of unidentified items out of the home of the New England Patriots' tight end. Two K-9 units also searched the house Saturday. Police searched the backyard, and searched and photographed Hernandez's SUV. A locksmith also spent time in the house.

Hernandez's lawyer, Michael Fee, arrived at about 3:40 p.m. and remained after police left. There was no sighting of Hernandez. Two women emerged from the home during the afternoon.

ABC News reported that Hernandez and the victim, Odin Lloyd, 27, a semipro football player, were together at several nightclubs last weekend, including the night before Lloyd's body was found less than a mile from Hernandez's home in North Attleborough, Mass.

Multiple reports indicate Hernandez destroyed his cell phone and the security system at his home, which might have provided video showing the victim at his house. Investigators were also probing reports that Hernandez hired a crew to clean the home. A spokesman for the Attleborough District Court, which covers Hernandez's town, told ABC that a warrant was drawn up charging Hernandez with obstruction of justice.

Legal experts said while the courts are closed on the weekend, it's possible the warrant can be signed by a judge and served Saturday or Sunday.

On Saturday morning, cars and vans from assorted media organizations that lined Hernandez's quiet street were the only indication that he was embroiled in a homicide investigation.

That changed in the afternoon when police pulled up and entered the home.

Lloyd's body was found in a vacant lot off John L. Dietsch Boulevard, an industrial park area.

Patrol cars from the North Attleborough police department and Bristol County sheriff's office blocked the scene Saturday. Officers could be seen driving through both the industrial park and Hernandez's neighborhood.

The blinds were drawn at the players' house and a newspaper lay untouched on the front lawn. Three cars sat in the driveway, including the white Audi that Hernandez arrived in Friday.

Financial fallout from the investigation also began to mount. CtyoSport, which makes the Muscle Milk line of supplements that Hernandez endorsed, fired him Friday.

Police have sought to question Hernandez but haven't called him a suspect in the killing.

Lloyd reportedly left a club with two men, including Hernandez, late Sunday night or early Monday morning, but only two men returned to Hernandez's home.

Reports say a jogger found Lloyd's dead body at 5:30 p.m. Monday and a vehicle rented in Hernandez's name was nearby. According to reports by SI.com, Lloyd died between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. Monday.

Hernandez has been under scrutiny ever since.

On Thursday night, Boston's Fox 25 News reported that neighbors heard shots fired between 3 a.m. and 3:30 a.m. Monday, and video surveillance footage showed Hernandez and two other men wearing hooded sweatshirts entering Hernandez's home moments later. An hour before, Hernandez was seen at Lloyd's home.

In the meantime, Fee, a lawyer with Ropes and Gray in the Boston area, released a statement regarding Hernandez and the investigation: "Out of respect for that process, neither we nor Aaron will have any comment about the substance of that investigation until it has come to a conclusion."

According to NFL.com, Hernandez visited Gillette Stadium on Thursday, although coaches and players were on vacation and owner Robert Kraft and other team executives were also not there. Reportedly the only players there were a few rookies.

Lloyd was a linebacker for the Boston Bandits. He was dating the sister of Shayanna Jenkins, Hernandez's girlfriend and mother of his child.

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