A day after he was arrested for the murder of an acquaintance near his suburban Massachusetts home, NFL star Aaron Hernandez is now under investigation for his possible involvement in another deadly shooting last year.
Hernandez was denied bail for a second time Thursday afternoon, after being held Wednesday night on murder and weapons charges related to the death of Odin Lloyd, whose body was found in an industrial park near the player’s home June 17.
Superior Court Judge Renee Dupuis said she would not grant bail because the state had a 'very, very strong circumstantial case' against Hernandez.
Meanwhile, authorities are now investigating Hernandez’s potential involvement in a drive-by shooting that killed two men in South Boston last July. The men, Daniel Abreu and Safiro Furtado, had apparently been involved in a nightclub fight with a group that included Hernandez shortly before they were shot and killed at a stoplight while driving home.
Speaking anonymously to The Boston Globe, law enforcement officials said they believe Mr. Lloyd may have known about the earlier shooting, giving Hernandez motive to want him silenced.
The motivation for the murder “might have been that the victim knew [Hernandez] might have been involved,” the official said.
The drive-by case is the latest in a series of recent revelations about Hernandez’s violent past, which have begun to surface over the past week as police investigated his possible role in Lloyd’s death.
Most recently, a Connecticut man filed suit this month alleging that Hernandez shot him outside a Florida nightclub in February, damaging his right eye and requiring several surgeries to rebuild his face.
In the current murder investigation, prosecutors told a judge Wednesday that they possess video footage of Lloyd being shot as he emerged from an SUV thought to contain Hernandez. A surveillance camera at the player’s house later captured him returning home carrying a pistol. Later that day, Hernandez had his house professionally cleaned and apparently smashed his cellphone and home security system.
"He orchestrated the crime from the beginning, he took steps to conceal and destroy evidence, and he took steps to prevent the police from speaking to ... an important witness," the prosecutor said.
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 shortly after his arrest Wednesday.
Police also arrested a second man, Carlos Ortiz, Thursday in connection with the murder of Lloyd. He is being held on $1.5 million bail in a Connecticut jail, Fox News reports.
Bristol County Sheriff Tom Hodgson reported that Hernandez was a “model inmate” and “polite and cooperative” during his first day in jail, according to CNN.