March 19, 2015 / 6:54 PM / 4 years ago

Ex-NFL star Hernandez "on edge" at nightclub before murder: witness

FALL RIVER, Mass. (Reuters) - Ex-NFL star Aaron Hernandez was “on edge” and aggressive at a Boston nightclub two nights before prosecutors say he killed another football player, a witness told jurors at his murder trial on Thursday.

Former New England Patriots football player Aaron Hernandez sits during his murder trial in Fall River, Massachusetts March 19, 2015. REUTERS/Steven Senne/Pool

Kasey Arma, who danced with the former New England Patriots tight end at Rumor nightclub early on June 15, 2013, said he initially seemed relaxed, but later appeared irritated, grabbing her and telling her to dance with him in another part of the club.

“He just seemed a lot more agitated, on edge,” she said. “He was just very aggressive.”

Hernandez, 25, is on trial at Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River, Massachusetts, for fatally shooting Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player who was dating his fiancée’s sister, early on June 17, 2013. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of life in prison without parole.

Prosecutors say Hernandez became upset with Lloyd at the club that night for associating with people he disliked. Lloyd had gone to the club with Hernandez and his barber, Roberto Olivares, according to prosecutors.

An acquaintance of Lloyd’s who was also at the club, Kwami Nicholas, testified earlier this week that Hernandez stared for several minutes at Lloyd and another man, and appeared angry before storming out of the club, with Lloyd running to catch up.

Arma, who had seen Hernandez at the club several times before, said Hernandez initially tapped her on the hip to get her attention. She said she danced with Hernandez, who introduced himself as “Rock,” for several minutes before he abruptly walked away.

He later returned and “grabbed me by my arm and pulled me out of the crowd and told me to go with him,” Arma said, adding they then danced in another part of the club.

Also on Thursday, prosecutors showed surveillance video recorded at Hernandez’s house in North Attleborough, Massachusetts, hours after Lloyd’s death. It showed Hernandez and two alleged accomplices, Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, in different parts of the house, at times playing with Hernandez’s baby daughter and swimming in his pool.

Prosecutors say Hernandez, Wallace and Ortiz picked up Lloyd at Lloyd’s Boston house early on June 17, 2013, and drove him to an industrial park near Hernandez’s house where his bullet-riddled body was later found.

Wallace and Ortiz have also been charged with murder and will be tried separately. All have pleaded not guilty.

Editing by Richard Valdmanis and Richard Chang

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