Ex-NFL star Hernandez dismantled phone in police lot: witness

Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:23pm EST
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By Daniel Lovering

FALL RIVER, Mass. (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez dismantled his cellphone and used another one to make calls inside a car outside a police station the day after the bullet-riddled body of an associate was found, according to video shown on Tuesday at his murder trial.

Hernandez is on trial on charges of murdering semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd on June 17, 2013, the first of two murder trials he will face this year.

The video, shown at Massachusetts Superior Court in Fall River, was taken on June 18, 2013, by a surveillance camera operated from inside the police station by North Attleborough Police Detective Michael Elliott, the detective testified.

Hernandez had willingly gone to the police station with his lawyer for questioning after a teenage jogger discovered the body of Lloyd, 27, who had been dating Shaneah Jenkins, the sister of Hernandez's fiancée, at the time of his death.

William McCauley, first assistant district attorney for Bristol County, said earlier that Hernandez dismantled his phone and used his attorney's phone to call Ernest Wallace, an alleged accomplice.

Hernandez, 25, had a $41 million contract with the New England Patriots when he was arrested on murder and firearms charges on June 26, 2013. The team cut him hours later.

Elliott also testified that he and another officer found items including an empty .45 caliber shell, a plastic water bottle and what appeared to be chewing gum in a dumpster at a rental car outlet in North Attleborough. Prosecutors showed the items in court.

Prosecutors say Hernandez, Wallace and another friend, Carlos Ortiz, picked up Lloyd at his Boston home before driving Lloyd to the North Attleborough industrial area where his body was found later that day.   Continued...

Former New England Patriots football player Aaron Hernandez (L) sits with his attorney Charles Rankin during his murder trial at the Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River, Massachusetts February 13, 2015. REUTERS/Aram Boghosian/Pool  (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW SPORT FOOTBALL)