By MICHELLE R. SMITH, Associated Press
FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) _ Grainy surveillance video shown Friday to jurors in the murder trial of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez shows the victim an hour before he was killed climbing into a car that prosecutors say was driven by Hernandez.
Hernandez is charged in the June 17, 2013, shooting death of Odin Lloyd, who was dating his fiancee’s sister.
A neighbor who lived across the street from Lloyd in the Dorchester section of Boston captured the video on three surveillance cameras on his property early that morning. In the video, Lloyd is seen around 2:30 a.m. walking up and down the sidewalk outside his home. At 2:32 a.m., a sedan pulls up. He enters the rear passenger side, and it drives away.
Prosecutors have said Hernandez was driving a Nissan Altima he had rented, accompanied by acquaintances Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz. Both men are also charged in the killing. They will be tried separately.
At 2:53 a.m., the Altima was photographed driving through a toll plaza on the Massachusetts Turnpike without paying, according to testimony Friday by Rocky D’Angelo, who works at the company that manages electronic toll collection for Massachusetts. Prosecutors showed a photograph of the car’s license plate as it drove through the toll plaza.
Prosecutors have said the men then drove to an industrial park near Hernandez’s home in North Attleborough, where Lloyd was shot. His body was found later that day.
Also Friday, the judge and prosecutor got into a heated argument over text messages sent by Lloyd to his sister in the minutes before he was killed.
Superior Court Judge Susan Garsh previously ruled them inadmissible. In one, Lloyd told his sister, Shaquilla Thibou, he was with “NFL.”
After prosecutor William McCauley called Thibou to the stand, Hernandez’s defense team asked the judge for a sidebar before she was seated. After a brief conversation, she ordered a recess. When court resumed, the defense said it would agree to let the court tell jurors that Lloyd was alive at 3:22 a.m.
Prosecutors have previously said Hernandez’s car left the industrial park where Lloyd’s body was found at 3:27 a.m.
But McCauley became exercised and told Garsh he would not agree to that, and said he wanted jurors to hear that four text messages were sent, at 3:07 a.m., 3:11 a.m., 3:22 a.m. and 3:23 a.m. He said the messages indicate Lloyd was alive and his location.
The judge said he couldn’t ask Lloyd’s sister about texts at all, prompting McCauley to push again.
“I have made a ruling. My ruling stands!” Garsh replied angrily.
McCauley indicated he might appeal. He chose not to call Lloyd’s sister to the stand.