Ex-NFL star 'swore on his baby's life' he didn't commit murder

Tue Mar 31, 2015 4:47pm EDT
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By Daniel Lovering

FALL River, Mass. (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez insisted he had nothing to do with the shooting death of an acquaintance near his home when the team's owner and security director confronted him, a jury at his trial heard on Tuesday.

Billionaire business magnate and Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Hernandez told him he was innocent of the June 2013 murder of semiprofessional football player Odin Lloyd, and team security director Mark Briggs said Hernandez "swore on his baby's life he was telling the truth."

Hernandez, 25, had a $41 million contract with the National Football League team but was dropped hours after his arrest in June, 2013 on murder and firearms charges in the death of Lloyd, who had been dating his fiancée's sister. Hernandez, who has pleaded not guilty, faces life in prison if convicted.

His trial at the Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River, Massachusetts, began in January.

Kraft, who testified first on Tuesday, said he spoke with Hernandez at Gillette Stadium on June 19, 2013, two days after Lloyd's bullet-riddled body was found at an industrial park near Hernandez's home in North Attleboro, Massachusetts.

He said he brought him into an office to ask the tight end about the murder.

"He said he was not involved, that he was innocent," Kraft said. "I believe he said he was in a club" the night of the killing.

Briggs said he also spoke to Hernandez in the stadium, where Hernandez swore on his baby's life he was innocent. Under cross-examination by defense attorney Michael Fee, Briggs said Hernandez had told him that Lloyd was "like family."   Continued...

Owner of the New England Patriots Robert Kraft testifies during the murder trial of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez at Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River, Massachusetts, March 31, 2015.  REUTERS/Aram Boghosian/Pool