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FALL RIVER, Mass. (Reuters) - Investigators seized .22 caliber shells, sneakers and a scale apparently used for marijuana from Aaron Hernandez's home days after the former National Football League star's alleged murder victim was found, a police officer said on Thursday.
Massachusetts State Police Trooper Zachary Johnson, testifying at state Superior Court in the first of two murder trials Hernandez faces this year, said police confiscated the items along with a white long-sleeved shirt at the North Attleborough house on June 22, 2013. The shirt appeared similar to one worn by Hernandez in surveillance footage.
The search came five days after the body of Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player who had been dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee, was discovered by a jogger in an industrial park nearby.
Hernandez, 25, had a $41 million contract with the New England Patriots when he was dropped from the team shortly after being arrested and charged with Lloyd's murder in June 2013. He also faces firearms charges.
If convicted, Hernandez faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Prosecutors contend Hernandez and two friends, Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, picked up Lloyd at his Boston home in the early hours of June 17, 2013, before driving him to the North Attleborough industrial area where his body was found later that day.
Wallace and Ortiz have also been charged and will be tried separately. All three men have pleaded not guilty.
Police found five empty .45 caliber shells near Lloyd's body, but have not located the gun used in the slaying. Lloyd was shot six times.
Police testified this week they found a .45 caliber shell stuck to chewed gum and an empty Vitamin Water bottle in a dumpster at a rental car agency after employees cleaned out a car Hernandez returned the day Lloyd's body was found.
Johnson, the state trooper, said other items seized at Hernandez's house included a digital scale and dish used for marijuana, a refrigerator containing bottles of Vitamin Water, a box of .22 caliber shells and four pairs of Nike size 13 sneakers.
Prosecutors have questioned several witnesses about footprints found at the murder scene.
Hernandez will face a second trial later this year on charges he killed two Cape Verdean men outside a Boston nightclub in 2012.
Editing by Scott Malone and Peter Cooney