Overview of Hernandez’ Developing Case
Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was arrested and charged with the murder of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd. The two men met through Hernandez’ fiancée Shayanna Jenkins, whose sister was Lloyd’s girlfriend. The case is intriguing not only because of Hernandez’ high-profile, but also because of the men’s friendship prior to Lloyd’s passing.
According to the prosecution, on June 14 Odin Lloyd and Aaron Hernandez had a heated argument at a bar. Hernandez did not approve of Lloyd’s conversation with a group of unidentified men, and they got into a verbal altercation. The prosecution is building a case around the allegation that Hernandez murdered Lloyd in revenge three days later.
On June 17, the night of the incident, victim Odin Lloyd had been text messaging, and intended to meet up with, Hernandez in order to return the car he had borrowed from the football player. At 12:22 am, Lloyd sent Hernandez the text“we still on” in order to confirm their meeting.
Carlos Ortiz and Ernest Wallace, the football player’s friends, joined Hernandez on the night of June 17, and presumably are firsthand witnesses of the alleged murder. Around 1:00 am three men were recorded by video cameras around Hernandez’ residence as they left together in a car, allegedly toward the abandoned industrial park where the intended to meet with Lloyd. At 3:22, Lloyd sent atext message to his sister informing her that he was going to meet up with Hernandez, implying that he sensed that there would be a degree of hostility between the two. Around 3:25, workers heard three gunshots coming from the industrial area, and the sound of a departing vehicle. Around 3:30, the three men were recorded by the surveillance camera as they returned to Hernandez’ residence.
Prosecution Theories and Inconsistencies
Both Ortiz and Wallace turned themselves in after Hernandez was charged, and according to court documents Ortiz testified that Wallace told him he saw Hernandez murder Lloyd. In a court of law, Ortiz’ testimony would be considered hearsay because he did not see Hernandez murder Lloyd with his own eyes. However, it is clear that Ortiz is willing to cooperate with the investigation.
The football player’s case presents a number of inconsistencies. First, Hernandez’ wife claimed that she went to bed around 9:00 pm, after returning from dinner with her husband. However, the home surveillance cameras captured her standing near the three men when they were about to leave the premises.
Furthermore, Hernandez was unresponsive when police investigators arrived at his home, tried to search the residence, and told him about Lloyd’s death. Hernandez’ fiancée burst into tears, while Hernandez shut the door in the police officers’ face and returned with an attorney’s business card[AO6] . The football player’s reaction was a trigger for the police, since he and Lloyd had been friends for over a year, and their respective girlfriends were sisters.
Aaron Hernandez and OJ Simpson Have More in Common than Football
Both players were at the top of their fame when their respective trials occurred; Hernandez had recently been signed for a $40 million dollar contract as a tight end for the New England Patriots. Are the two men just “players of questionable character,” or is there more to the comparison between their lives.
First, Hernandez seems to have done a poor job of covering his tracks, and his attorneys are facing a difficult defense when surveillance cameras and witness reports are painting a vivid picture of the murder.
Second, OJ was wildly dependent upon his defense attorneys, and ultimately benefited from the media frenzy that surrounded his case. It’s hard to forget Johnnie Cochran’s quote “if the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” This case, however, lacks the sensationalism that the OJ trial survived on. Here, the corroborated and physical evidence against Hernandez is hard to deny. Even though they may both be high-profile football players charged with murder, Hernandez might not get as lucky as OJ in terms of acquittal.