ATTLEBORO, Mass. (AP) — Surveillance photos captured hours before — and minutes after — his friend was shot to death show former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez holding a gun, authorities said.
The photos, taken from Hernandez’s home surveillance system, are the public’s first look at images that appear to show Hernandez holding a gun both before and after the killing. They were among more than 100 pages of court records released Thursday by Attleboro District Court.
Hernandez 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 about a mile from Hernandez’s home. He was shot five times.
One of Hernandez’s associates in the case, Ernest Wallace, was scheduled to make a court appearance Friday morning. Prosecutors say Wallace and another man, Carlos Ortiz, drove with Hernandez and Lloyd to the industrial park in North Attleborough.
Authorities believe Lloyd was killed with a .45-caliber Glock, which they have said hasn’t been recovered. Prosecutors said previously that a gun Hernandez is seen holding in the home surveillance appears to be a Glock.
Four pictures show Hernandez in his basement holding a gun shortly after Lloyd was killed, an affidavit released Thursday says. The surveillance was cut off within minutes.
Two other photos show what authorities say is Hernandez in his living room, a few hours before Lloyd’s killing, also holding what they say is a gun.
Prosecutors previously only described the photos in court and in affidavits.
Authorities recovered an ammunition clip for .45-caliber bullets in Hernandez’s Hummer as well as ammunition of the same caliber inside a condo he rented in Franklin, Mass.
The previously sealed documents were released after several media organizations, including The Associated Press, filed motions seeking access and Judge Daniel O’Shea agreed Wednesday that they are public records.
Defense attorneys have objected to the unsealing of the records, saying it is “systematically undermining” Hernandez’s right to a fair trial.
On Wednesday, O’Shea also delayed a probable cause hearing for Hernandez to give prosecutors more time to present evidence in the murder case to a grand jury. That hearing was rescheduled for Aug. 22.
Hernandez will continue to be held without bail until then.
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.
Authorities have not said who fired the shots, but documents filed in Florida portray the former Patriot as the triggerman. According to the records, Ortiz told police that Wallace said Hernandez fired the shots.
Wallace has pleaded not guilty to a charge of being an accessory to murder after the fact. Ortiz has pleaded not guilty to a gun charge.
The Florida documents also say that police in Hernandez’s hometown of Bristol, Conn., while investigating Lloyd’s killing, found a car rented in the ex-NFL star name being sought in connection with a July 2012 double killing in Boston.
The Patriots released Hernandez within hours of his arrest.
Speaking at length Thursday for the first time since Hernandez’s arrest, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said the team has had a “challenging offseason” and that it must work hard to “re-establish what we’re all about.”
The University of Florida, where Hernandez played in college, said it is removing all references to him in and around the stadium in Gainesville. The University Athletic Association said in a statement it “didn’t feel it was appropriate to celebrate” the former Gator.