- Associated Press - Thursday, June 27, 2013

ATTLEBORO, Mass. — In the final minutes of his life, Odin Lloyd sent a series of texts to his sister.

“Did you see who I was with?” said the first, at 3:07 a.m. June 17. “Who?” she finally replied.


PHOTOS: Famous athletes involved in murder-related cases


“NFL,” he texted back, then added: “Just so you know.”

It was 3:23 a.m. Moments later, Lloyd would be dead in what a prosecutor called an execution-style shooting orchestrated by New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez because his friend talked to the wrong people at a nightclub. Hernandez was charged Wednesday with murder and could face life in prison, if convicted.

Hernandez was cut from the NFL team less than two hours after he was arrested and led from his North Attleborough home in handcuffs, and nine days after Lloyd’s body was discovered by a jogger in a remote area of an industrial park not far from Hernandez’s home. The 2011 Pro Bowl selection had signed a five-year contract last summer with the Patriots worth $40 million.


SEE ALSO: Aaron Hernandez investigated in 2012 double homicide case, report says


His attorney, Michael Fee, called the case circumstantial during a Wednesday court hearing packed with reporters, curiosity seekers and police officers. Fee said there was a “rather hysterical atmosphere” surrounding the case and urged the judge to disregard his client’s celebrity status as he asked for Hernandez, 23, to be released on bail.

The judge, though, ordered Hernandez held without bail on the murder charge and five weapons counts.

Another man, Carlos Ortiz, 27, was arrested Wednesday in Hernandez’s hometown of Bristol, Conn., as part of the murder investigation, New Britain State’s Attorney Brian Preleski said Thursday. Ortiz was charged as a fugitive from justice and waived extradition to Massachusetts. Prison records show he is being held on $1.5 million bail at a Hartford jail.

Ortiz’s public defender, Alfonzo Sirica, declined to comment about the case.

Hernandez was scheduled to appear at a bail review hearing Thursday afternoon in Fall River, according to Bernie Sullivan, spokesman for the Bristol County sheriff.

In the meantime, police have been searching a third-floor unit in a condo complex in Franklin, Mass., that Hernandez had visited in recent weeks, according to the unit’s next-door neighbor.

Condo resident Carol Bailey said that starting Wednesday and continuing Thursday, police removed items from the modest, two-bedroom rental unit and asked her questions about its occupants. She said a new tenant told her in May that he was moving in with his cousin, and she realized later that the second man he had referred to that way was the Patriots player.

“I thought, ‘This is Aaron Hernandez. He’s renting a place here so he can have some peace and quiet,’” the retiree said Thursday.

The Ledgewood Condominiums resident said she didn’t see the two men often, but Hernandez always had a hoodie pulled up when she saw him.

Story Continues →