Aaron Hernandez murder case: what court documents reveal about that night
Aaron Hernandez is the one who fired the fatal shots, an alleged accomplice has told investigators, according to court documents released Tuesday.
An associate of Mr. Hernandez who was with him the night that Odin Lloyd, a semiprofessional football player, was shot and killed in an industrial park near Hernandez’s house told investigators it was Hernandez who fired the shots that killed Mr. Lloyd, according to court documents obtained by the Associated Press.
Prosecutors have said publicly that Hernandez was with two other men, Carlos Ortiz and Ernest Wallace, in the early hours of June 17, the day Lloyd is believed to have been killed. Surveillance videos show them picking up Lloyd and driving to an industrial park where Lloyd’s body was later found. But investigators have not publicly said who they think fired the shots that killed Lloyd, saying only that Hernandez “orchestrated” the slaying.
"All we've done is charge is Aaron Hernandez with murder," Samuel Sutter, district attorney for Bristol County, Mass., said Monday. "As far as the specifics about who was the shooter and who might have been a joint venturer, it's too early to say. The investigation is ongoing."
According to court documents, Mr. Ortiz told investigators that Hernandez said to Lloyd during the drive to the industrial park that Lloyd had been "chilling" with people Hernandez had problems with. Ortiz told police the two men shook hands and the problem seemed smoothed over. But the car soon stopped, and everyone but Ortiz got out to urinate, according to Ortiz's account.
Somebody who happened to be in the area told police he then heard gunshots before Hernandez and Mr. Wallace got back in the car without Lloyd and the car sped away, according to the documents.
Ortiz said he couldn't see who fired the shots because it was dark. But he told investigators that Wallace said it was Hernandez who fired the shots.
Hernandez has pleaded not guilty in Lloyd's killing. Wallace faces an accessory to murder charge in the case and has pleaded not guilty. Ortiz is charged with illegal possession of a firearm and is being held in jail without bail.
The court documents also show that a vehicle wanted in a 2012 double killing in Boston was rented in Hernandez’s name. Last month, The Boston Globe reported that unnamed law enforcement officials said they believe Lloyd may have known about the earlier shooting, giving Hernandez motive to want him silenced.
The documents that contain the above information and that were obtained by the Associated Press were filed by the Miramar (Fla.) Police Department to gain a search warrant for a house in that city where Wallace’s mother lives.
Separately, the Attleboro District Court in Massachusetts unsealed 156 pages of court records Tuesday, revealing more details about investigators' interactions with Hernandez before he was arrested and charged with murder on June 26.
Hernandez was “argumentative” and unresponsive when police told him they were investigating, according to the documents.
“Mr. Hernandez did not ask officers whose death was being investigated,” state police wrote in their report. “Mr. Hernandez’s demeanor did not indicate any concern for the death of any person.”
“What’s with all the questions?” Hernandez asked, before slamming the door to his house and locking it behind him, the documents state.
Hernandez then opened the door and gave police his lawyer’s business card, police reported in the documents.
Hernandez came out later and agreed to be questioned at a police station.
According to the documents, Hernandez also called his girlfriend's cellphone and stopped her from speaking with police after they pulled her over and told her Lloyd was dead.
Among the items police said they seized from Hernandez were .22 caliber ammunition, a BlackBerry phone, three Apple iPads, and an Apple iPhone. They also seized clothes similar to those shown in the surveillance video inside Hernandez’s home.
Hernandez came to the New England Patriots from the University of Florida as a fourth-round draft pick in 2010, and in 2012 he signed a five-year, $40 million contract with the team. The Patriots announced that he had been cut 90 minutes after his arrest.
“No one in our organization was aware of any of these kind of connections. If it’s true, I’m just shocked,” owner Robert Kraft said earlier this week. “Our whole organization has been duped.”
• Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.