Former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez was indicted Thursday on a first-degree murder charge in the death of a friend whose bullet-riddled body was found in an industrial park about a mile from the ex-player’s home. The jury indictment him on charges of him killing 27-year-old Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player from Boston who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s girlfriend. The 23-year-old athlete pleaded not guilty to murder and weapons charges in June, and he is being held without bail at a county jail. His lawyers say the case against him is circumstantial and they’re confident he will be able to clear his name.
He could face life in prison if convicted. He was due to appear in Attleboro court later Thursday. A jogger found Lloyd’s body on June 17 in an industrial park. What was Hernandez’s motivation of the alleged killing? Prosecutors say Hernandez orchestrated Lloyd’s killing because he was upset at him for talking to people Hernandez had problems with at a nightclub days earlier. They say Hernandez and two friends, Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, picked Lloyd up at his home in Boston early on June 17 and then drove to the industrial park. Shortly before his death, authorities say, Lloyd sent his sister text messages. He asked if she had seen who he was with when he got into the car in Boston. Then he indicated who it was in a way that Lloyd’s family said he knew his sister would understand.
NFL. Just so you know.
Moments later, authorities say, Lloyd was dead after gunshots rang out in a construction area by a warehouse after he apparently got out of the car for what he thought was a bathroom break. Authorities have not said who fired the shots, but according to court documents, Ortiz told police in Florida that Wallace said it was Hernandez. Wallace has pleaded not guilty to a charge of accessory to murder after the fact. Ortiz has pleaded not guilty to a firearm charge. Both are being held in jail without bail. [Associated Press, ESPN]