Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez is due to make another court appearance in the murder case against him.
A probable cause hearing for Hernandez is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon in Attleboro District Court. He has pleaded not guilty to murder in the death of Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old Boston semi-professional football player whose body was found June 17 in an industrial park in North Attleboro near Hernandez’s home. He had been shot five times.
Prosecutors say Hernandez orchestrated Lloyd’s killing because he was upset at him for talking to people Hernandez had problems with at a nightclub a few days earlier.
They say he and two associates, Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, drove with Lloyd to the industrial park. Authorities have not said who fired the shots, but documents filed in Florida — and released since Hernandez’s last court appearance — paint the former Patriot as the triggerman. According to the records, Ortiz told police that Wallace said Hernandez fired the shots.
Hernandez’s lawyers say the case against him is circumstantial and he wants to clear his name.
Hernandez is being held without bail at a county jail.
Wallace and Ortiz also are facing charges. Wallace pleaded not guilty to a charge of being an accessory to murder after the fact. Ortiz has pleaded not guilty to a gun charge.
GUN BOX, AMMUNITION TIED TO CO-DEFENDANTS
Police searches in Connecticut last month turned up ammunition, a gun box and documents tied to the two co-defendants of Hernandez.
A judge has unsealed three of four search warrants from the investigation into Lloyd’s death.
The warrants were used to search Hernandez’s uncle’s home, an apartment and a rental car police say was used by Wallace and Ortiz the day after the shooting.
The items seized from the home include Correction Department documents linked to Ortiz and Wallace, a plastic gun box and two boxes of .38-caliber ammunition.
Police say Lloyd was killed with a .45-caliber gun.