News

Police: Shell casings link Hernandez to murder

Police: Shell casings link Hernandez to murder

Massachusetts police have found shell casings that could link Aaron Hernandez to the murder scene. Photo: Reuters/Mike George/Pool

ATTLEBORO, Massachusetts (Reuters) – Massachusetts police have found shell casings that could link former National Football League player Aaron Hernandez to the site where a semi-pro football player was gunned down last month, according to court documents unsealed on Tuesday.

Hernandez, 23, has been charged with the execution-style killing of Odin Lloyd, 27, and has lost his $41 million contract with the New England Patriots. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges, including five counts related to illegal firearms possession.

Hernandez, a tight end with the Patriots, one of the league’s top franchises, had been a rising NFL star.

The court documents included an autopsy showing that Lloyd was shot several times and that two projectiles consistent with .45 caliber ammunition were recovered from the area where his body was recovered.

Police said they also found a matching spent shell casing that had been in a silver 2012 Nissan Altima rented by Hernandez.

At an apartment Hernandez rented in Franklin, Massachusetts, police also discovered five boxes of .45 caliber cartridges, according to the documents.

Prosecutors said Hernandez shot Lloyd after becoming upset with him days earlier at a Boston nightclub. Lloyd’s body was found June 17 in an industrial area near Hernandez’s house in North Attleboro, about 40 miles south of Boston.

Two other men have been taken into custody in connection with the case. Ernest Wallace, who is suspected of being an “accessory after the fact,” turned himself in to police in Miramar, Florida, last month. Another man, Carlos Ortiz, was arrested in Connecticut on charges of being a fugitive from justice.

Hernandez’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A manager at an Enterprise car rental outlet in North Attleboro told police Hernandez had rented a silver 2012 Nissan Altima along with another vehicle. When he returned it on June 18, there was damage to the driver’s side mirror and door, the documents said.

EVIDENCE MOUNTS

Investigators also found dirt on the tires and lower panels of the Nissan that was “similar in color and appearance” to the ground where Lloyd’s body was found, according to the documents. Lloyd’s fingerprints were also found in the car.

An Enterprise manager who cleaned the Altima after it had been returned said she recovered a “bullet” from the car and threw it into a dumpster. A search of the dumpster turned up a spent .45 caliber cartridge casing, which tests showed matched the casings found near Lloyd’s body, the documents said.

A .45 caliber firearm has not been found.

The documents also revealed new details related to a black Chevy Suburban that Hernandez had rented and found in the yard at Lloyd’s Boston residence. Keys to the vehicle were found in Lloyd’s pocket.

When investigators questioned Hernandez about the car, he became argumentative, the documents said.

“We informed Mr. Hernandez that this was a death investigation,” a police affidavit said. “Mr. Hernandez did not ask officers whose death was being investigated. Mr. Hernandez’s demeanor did not indicate any concern for the death of any person.”

Police have also recovered a semi-automatic rifle with an attached magazine containing 33 live rounds from a car parked in Hernandez’s garage, according to the documents.

Hernandez did not have a valid or expired Massachusetts license to carry firearms, police said.

Recent Headlines

in Local

Ben U Student Airs Concerns Following Private Forum

school test

The questions surrounding Benedictine University's decision to cancel undergraduate programs at its Springfield campus continue.

in Local

Springfield Clinic’s “GIVE75″ Campaign Continues

sojourn

Springfield Clinic is celebrating its 75th birthday but the company is giving the presents instead of receiving

in Local

Bar Assoc. Offers Help Voting for Judges

gavel2

How do you know how to vote for judges? The Illinois State Bar Association has some help.

in Election 2014, Local

Rauners Say Bruce and Quinn Agree on Social Issues

Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate businessman Bruce Rauner participates in a Republican gubernatorial candidate debate Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, in Springfield, Ill. The four Republican gubernatorial candidates said that they’ll be willing to work with unions if elected but differed on how to approach the relationship during a downstate debate that largely focused on pension reform, taxes and just briefly on personal issues that have dogged some of the candidates.

Speaking to a coalition of women supporting her husband’s campaign, Diana Rauner said Gov. Pat Quinn has tried to take the focus off jobs and the economy.