While former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez sits in a Massachusetts jail cell, charged with first-degree murder in the June 17 killing of Odin Lloyd, law enforcement is reportedly making progress toward charging him with two more murders.
According to The Boston Globe, prosecutors have begun presenting evidence to a Suffolk County grand jury apparently tying the 23-year-old Hernandez to the shooting deaths of Safiro Furtado and Daniel Abreu on July 16, 2012.
“The case against Hernandez appears to be strengthening,” the paper quoted an anonymous law enforcement official as saying. Messages left for Hernandez’s attorney requesting comment were not returned, according to the Globe.
Hernandez’s alleged connection to the 2012 shootings initially came to light in June when the Associated Press obtained court records filed in Florida. Per that report, a vehicle suspected in the crime was rented to Hernandez at the time of the shootings. Police allege that an SUV pulled up alongside a car occupied by Furtado and Abreu and began firing into the vehicle. Prosecutors also allege that Hernandez shot Lloyd, 27, after driving him and two other men to an industrial park near Hernandez’s home in a rented Nissan Altima. The other two men, Carlos Ortiz and Ernest Wallace, are currently jailed, charged as accessories in the Lloyd killing.
According to the Globe, police believe Hernandez killed Lloyd because Hernandez suspected Lloyd had information about the 2012 shootings and "might talk."
The Globe also reported Tuesday that three affidavits were unsealed in Connecticut, and that those documents were the basis for three search warrant applications in the Lloyd investigation. Those documents revealed that the Bristol, Conn., home of Hernandez’s uncle was searched by authorities, and that it was there where Boston police were able to track down the SUV they believe was used in the 2012 killings.
Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges facing him in the Lloyd case and is being held without bail. His probable cause hearing was delayed Wednesday until Aug. 22.