By Daniel Lovering
FALL RIVER, Massachusetts (Reuters) - Former National Football League star Aaron Hernandez texted a friend to "hurry" in the hours before prosecutors say the pair and another man murdered an associate in an industrial park in 2013, according to testimony on Friday.
Ricardo Leal, a records custodian for Sprint Telecommunications, identified text messages between Hernandez and Ernest Wallace in records and read them aloud from Hernandez's Blackberry phone, which prosecutors showed in court.
Hernandez, 25, is being tried at Massachusetts Superior Court in Fall River on charges of murdering Odin Lloyd, a semiprofessional football player who was dating his fiancee's sister. It is the first of two murder trials he faces this year.
Prosecutors said Hernandez, Wallace and another man, Carlos Ortiz, picked up Lloyd at his Boston home and drove him in a rented Nissan Altima to an industrial park near Hernandez's house in North Attleborough, Massachusetts, early on June 17, 2013.
Lloyd's bullet-riddled body was found by a jogger at the industrial park later that day. Investigators found empty shell casings from a .45-caliber handgun nearby. They found a similar shell casing that had been removed from a rental car returned by Hernandez.
Leal, the Sprint employee, went through phone records for Hernandez and Wallace, who was identified on Hernandez's phone by the nickname "Fish 2."
On the night of June 16, 2013, hours before Lloyd's death, when witnesses say Hernandez was at a Rhode Island restaurant, Hernandez texted Wallace to hurry up, to which Wallace responded, "K."
Also that night Hernandez wrote, "Call her and make sure ur phone is on and charged," apparently referring to his fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins. He wrote that Jenkins was "getting on my nerves" and that he "ain't trying to b stuck wit her all day an nite."
Records showed calls between the numbers of Wallace and Lloyd before Lloyd was allegedly picked up at his home in Boston, according to the testimony.
Hernandez had a $41 million contract with the New England Patriots when he was cut from the team after being charged with Lloyd's murder. Wallace and Ortiz will be tried separately. All three men have pleaded not guilty.
Hernandez will face a second murder trial later this year for allegedly killing two Cape Verdean men outside a Boston nightclub in 2012.
(Reporting by Richard Valdmanis; Editing by David Gregorio)