Police say found bullets, gun near ex-NFL star's alleged victim

Fri Feb 13, 2015 1:42pm EST
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By Daniel Lovering

FALL RIVER, Mass. (Reuters) - Massachusetts State Police troopers found two bullets and a .22-caliber handgun near the body of a man prosecutors say former National Football League star Aaron Hernandez killed in June 2013, the officers testified on Friday.

Sergeant Kevin Halle said he excavated soil in an industrial park where the body of Odin Lloyd, a semiprofessional football player, was found on June 17, 2013, and discovered two projectiles near a patch of dirt marked by a red-brown stain.

"I was screening the material to be taken out and, looking at the screen, there was a projectile," he told jurors in the Massachusetts Superior Court trial in Fall River. Prosecutors showed photos of the bullets in court.

Investigators earlier testified that they found empty .45-caliber shell casings around Lloyd's body at the industrial park in North Attleborough, Massachusetts.

Another state trooper, Steven Gallagher, said he and fellow officers found a .22-caliber black-and-silver pistol while searching a wet, wooded area near a road a short distance from where Lloyd's body was discovered by a teenage jogger.

Hernandez, who lived nearby, has been charged with murdering Lloyd, 27, who was dating his fiancée's sister, Shaneah Jenkins, at the time. Jenkins has testified that the two were in the early stages of a friendship and sometimes smoked marijuana together.

Hernandez, 25, had a $41 million contract with the New England Patriots when he was dropped from the team after his arrest on murder and firearms charges.

If convicted, Hernandez could draw a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.   Continued...

Former New England Patriots football player Aaron Hernandez sits with his attorney Charles Rankin during his murder trial at Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River, Massachusetts February 11, 2015.  REUTERS/Ted Fitzgerald