Murder trial of former NFL star Aaron Hernandez resumes

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 03, 2015 1:29 PM

By Daniel Lovering

FALL RIVER, Mass. (Reuters) - The first murder trial of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez resumed on Tuesday after being suspended for a day due to a snowstorm, but testimony was delayed because of an unspecified problem with a juror.

Associate Justice Susan Garsh questioned a juror and later closed the courtroom to the media over concerns "the juror may be impacted by the publicity" over the trial, which entered its second week at Massachusetts Superior Court in Fall River, Massachusetts.

Hernandez, 25, has been accused of fatally shooting Odin Lloyd, a semiprofessional football player who had been dating his fiancee's sister, near his home in North Attleborough, Massachusetts, in June 2013. He also faces firearms charges.

Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to all counts.

He has separately been accused of killing two Cape Verdean men outside a Boston nightclub in 2012, and will be tried on those charges later this year.

Lloyd's girlfriend, Shaneah Jenkins, testified last week that Lloyd and Hernandez had a cordial relationship, but were only in "the early stages of friendship." She is expected to continue her testimony on Tuesday.

Jenkins, 23, said Lloyd and Hernandez smoked marijuana together at the former National Football League star's house, where he lived with her sister, Shayanna, and their baby.

Prosecutors have argued that Hernandez and two friends, Carlos Ortiz and Ernest Wallace, picked up Lloyd at his home in Boston early on June 17, 2013, and drove him to the industrial park where his body was found.

Investigators have not recovered the gun that was used to murder Lloyd, 27.

Wallace and Ortiz also have been charged in connection with Lloyd's slaying and will be tried separately.

(Editing by Scott Malone and Bernadette Baum)