Trooper discusses footprints near ex-NFL star's alleged victim

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 18, 2015 1:56 PM

By Daniel Lovering

FALL RIVER, Mass. (Reuters) - A Massachusetts State Police trooper testified on Wednesday that a shoe print found near the body of a man allegedly killed by former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez contained a "herringbone-type wave" pattern.

Lieutenant Steven Bennett said the partial footwear impression was found in an industrial park near Hernandez's home in North Attleborough, Massachusetts, where the body of Odin Lloyd, a semiprofessional football player, was found on June 17, 2013.

Hernandez, 25, has been charged with killing Lloyd, who had been dating his fiancée's sister, and is on trial at Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River, Massachusetts. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of life in prison. He has pleaded not guilty.

A consultant for Nike Inc testified on Tuesday that Hernandez was wearing Nike Air Jordan XI Retro Low shoes in surveillance video taken at the former tight end's house minutes after the murder, and that parts of the shoes' soles had a herringbone pattern, though he also acknowledged that many shoe soles had a herringbone pattern.

Prosecutor William McCauley showed Bennett, the state trooper, photos of the shoe print and others found near tire tracks in soft dirt about 30 to 50 feet (9 to 15 meters) from where Lloyd's bullet-riddled body was found.

"It had some detail in the midsole of the shoe, it was a herringbone-type wave," said Bennett.

He also explained how he identified the prints of investigators, witnesses and the victim at the scene, using photographs of their shoes, to differentiate them from those of suspects.

Lloyd's shoes also contained a herringbone pattern, but not in the midsole, he said.  

Prosecutors contend Hernandez and two friends, Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, picked up Lloyd, 27, at his Boston home in the early hours of June 17, 2013, and drove him to the industrial park.

Wallace and Ortiz also face murder charges and will be tried separately. They have also pleaded not guilty.

Hernandez had a $41 million contract with the New England Patriots when he was dropped from the team shortly after being arrested and charged with Lloyd's murder in June 2013.

(Reporting by Daniel Lovering; Editing by Scott Malone and Eric Beech)