Rushville Republican

Sports

June 28, 2013

Texts, video cited in charges against Hernandez

ATTLEBORO, Mass. (AP) — In the final minutes of his life, Odin Lloyd sent a series of texts to his sister.

“Did you see who I was with?” said the first, at 3:07 a.m. June 17. “Who?” she finally replied.

“NFL,” he texted back, then added: “Just so you know.”

It was 3:23 a.m. Moments later, Lloyd would be dead in what a prosecutor called an execution-style shooting orchestrated by New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez because his friend talked to the wrong people at a nightclub. Hernandez was charged Wednesday with murder and could face life in prison, if convicted.

Hernandez was cut from the NFL team less than two hours after he was arrested and led from his North Attleborough home in handcuffs, and nine days after Lloyd’s body was discovered by a jogger in a remote area of an industrial park not far from Hernandez’s home. The 2011 Pro Bowl selection had signed a five-year contract last summer with the Patriots worth $40 million.

His attorney, Michael Fee, called the case circumstantial during a Wednesday court hearing packed with reporters, curiosity seekers and police officers. Fee said there was a “rather hysterical atmosphere” surrounding the case and urged the judge to disregard his client’s celebrity status as he asked for Hernandez, 23, to be released on bail.

The judge, though, ordered Hernandez held without bail on the murder charge and five weapons counts.

Another man, Carlos Ortiz, 27, was arrested Wednesday in Hernandez’s hometown of Bristol, Conn., as part of the murder investigation, New Britain State’s Attorney Brian Preleski said Thursday. Ortiz was charged as a fugitive from justice and waived extradition to Massachusetts. Prison records show he is being held on $1.5 million bail at a Hartford jail.

Hernandez was scheduled to appear at a bail review hearing Thursday afternoon in Fall River, according to Bernie Sullivan, spokesman for the Bristol County sheriff.

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