FALL RIVER, Mass. (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez transferred $15,000 to a Florida man who prosecutors say sold him guns two months before he allegedly fatally shot an acquaintance, a former bank teller testified on Monday.
Heidi Carrera said Hernandez in April 2013 deposited three checks totaling more than $1.8 million at the Bank of America branch where she worked near Los Angeles before transferring the $15,000 to the account of Oscar Hernandez, who is unrelated to the former tight end.
Aaron Hernandez, 25, is being tried at Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River, Massachusetts, for the fatal shooting in June 2013 of Odin Lloyd, a semiprofessional football player who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancée. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors say Hernandez and two friends, Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, picked up Lloyd at his Boston house in the early hours of June 17, 2013, and drove him to an industrial park near Hernandez’s house in North Attleborough, where Lloyd’s bullet-riddled body was found.
Authorities say Lloyd was shot at close range with a .45-caliber handgun. The murder weapon has not been found.
Carrera testified that Hernandez deposited three checks into his account on April 11, 2013. He then talked on his cell phone to get details for the transfer of $15,000 to Oscar Hernandez, she said.
Prosecutors have said the ex-NFL player deposited the money in exchange for guns.
Authorities investigating Lloyd’s death found three guns they determined were bought in Florida in April 2013. One, a semi-automatic rifle, was found inside a gray Toyota Camry with a Florida license plate that was parked in Aaron Hernandez’s garage, according to court papers.
Oscar Hernandez has pleaded guilty to federal charges including conspiracy to deliver firearms to non-residents, obstruction of justice and witness tampering, and is awaiting sentencing.
Heidi Lakatos, an employee of a hardware store in Belle Glade, Florida, testified that she sold a .22-caliber pistol to a friend of Oscar Hernandez, Gion Jackson. Hernandez was with Jackson at the time of the sale on April 16, 2013, she said.
Jackson, 26, who was granted immunity, testified that he bought the gun. “The last time I saw it is when I put it in my trunk.”
Prosecutor William McCauley showed that the serial number of the pistol matched that of a .22-caliber pistol found in a wooded area near where Lloyd’s body was found.
Reporting by Daniel Lovering; Editing by Scott Malone, Leslie Adler and Eric Beech