Before a capacity crowd at Attleboro District Court that included the family of Odin Lloyd, former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was arraigned on a charge of murdering Lloyd, and five assorted counts of firearm possession.
Hernandez pleaded not guilty to all counts.
Hernandez "orchestrated the execution," the prosecutor said, and asked that he be held without bail. The judge agreed; Hernandez will be jailed. His next court date will be July 24.
Video of Hernandez entering the courtroom:
Lloyd, a 27-year-old semi-pro football player, had known Hernandez for about a year—the girlfriends of the two are sisters.
Prosecutors detailed Lloyd's multiple gunshot wounds—he was shot three times soon after getting out of the car, then two fatal shots were fired through his chest while he was lying on the ground. Keys to a vehicle belonging to Hernandez were found on Lloyd. Lloyd had all his possessions, so robbery was not the motive. .45 caliber shells from a semi-automatic weapon were recovered.
A warrant was issued to recover surveillance footage from the 14 cameras in and around Hernandez's house, but police discovered that 6-8 hours of footage, from around the time of the murder, was missing. They were able to discover text messages from Hernandez to the victim and the two other suspects on the night of the murder.
According to a third party, Hernandez was angry with Lloyd for talking to a group of people at a nightclub on the previous Friday, a group that Hernandez apparently had beef with. The prosecutor said authorities have tape of Hernandez, with a firearm, saying "You can't trust anyone anymore" before driving to pick up Lloyd.
The prosecutor says the group stopped at a gas station to pick up "blue cotton candy Bubblicious gum and Black & Mild cigars, which are used as rolling papers for marijuana."
When the three—minus Lloyd—returned to Hernandez's house, surveillance cameras showed someone carrying a gun into his house, down to the basement, and that's when cameras were shut off.
A shell casing was found in the rental car after Hernandez returned it—and a piece of chewed blue bubble gum.
The prosecution's extremely detailed timeline contains exchanges and information that could not have been picked up by any surveillance camera, so it seems likely that someone involved in the incident has spoken to police. (There is a sworn affidavit, but both the defense and the prosecution have agreed that it should be sealed.)
Lloyd's mother was led sobbing out of the courthouse mid-testimony. Hernandez's girlfriend left once the hearing ended, also in tears.
Herandez was represented by Michael Fee and Jamie Sultan, the latter consistently ranked as one of the country's top trial lawyers. Fee called the evidence "circumstantial," and said the case is "not strong," noting that the murder weapon has not been recovered. (Two other guns were found in and near Hernandez's house, accounting for the illegal weapons charges.)
In a brief appearance after the hearing, Fee said he will not comment, and will let the case play out in court. Asked how Hernandez is doing, he said only, "Aaron's fine."
Hernandez was arrested at his home early this morning and transported to the North Attleboro police station to be booked. Shortly before 2 p.m., Hernandez was taken to the courthouse for his arraignment.
— Peter Wilson (@PetesWire) June 26, 2013