FALL RIVER, Mass. (Reuters) - Ex-NFL star Aaron Hernandez asked his fiancée to dispose of a heavy cardboard box that smelled of marijuana a day after prosecutors say he fatally shot an associate, the fiancée told jurors at his murder trial on Monday.
Shayanna Jenkins, 25, testified that she put the box in a trash bag and concealed it with baby clothes before carrying it from the basement of their home in North Attleboro, Massachusetts, to her sister’s car in the driveway. She said she never looked inside the box and does not remember where she disposed of it.
“I found a random dumpster,” she told Assistant District Attorney William McCauley. “I don’t know exactly where it was located. ... At that point I was nervous.”
Hernandez, 25, is being tried on murder and firearms charges in the slaying of Odin Lloyd, a semiprofessional football player who was dating Jenkins’ sister, Shaneah. Hernandez, who has pleaded not guilty, faces life in prison if convicted.
Prosecutors say he and two friends, Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, picked up Lloyd at his Boston home early on June 17, 2013, and drove him to an industrial park near Hernandez’s house, where his bullet-riddled body was found later that day.
Jenkins said Hernandez told her by phone a day after Lloyd was killed to remove the box. Jenkins said the box was heavy enough that it was “like carrying a child” and that she believed it contained marijuana because of its smell.
Authorities have said in court documents that Ortiz told them he saw Hernandez store firearms in a box in his basement after the killing. The murder weapon, described by investigators as a .45-caliber Glock handgun, has not been found.
Earlier, Jenkins pleaded not guilty to charges she lied to a grand jury but she was granted immunity in February.
On Monday she repeated that she had spoken with Hernandez after learning of Lloyd’s murder and asked if he had done it. “He said ‘no,’” she said.
She wept on the stand when her testimony turned to her relationship with Hernandez. She said she had “caught Aaron cheating” but decided to stay with him because “it was worth fighting for.”
Wallace and Ortiz have also been charged with murder and will be tried separately. They have also pleaded not guilty.
Editing by Richard Valdmanis, W Simon and Lisa Von Ahn