ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez is holding what authorities have said is a gun in several surveillance photos that were released Thursday and had been recorded hours before – and minutes after – his friend was shot to death.
The photos, taken from Hernandez’s home surveillance system, are in more than 100 pages of court records released by Attleboro District Court. Prosecutors have previously described the photos in court and in affidavits, but this is the public’s first look at images showing Hernandez holding a gun before and after the killing.
Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to murder in the death of Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old Boston semi-professional football player whose body was found June 17 in an industrial park about a mile from Hernandez’s home. He was shot five times.
Four pictures show Hernandez in his basement holding a gun shortly after Lloyd was killed, an affidavit released Thursday says. The surveillance was cut off within minutes.
Two other photos show what authorities say is Hernandez in his living room, a few hours before Lloyd’s killing, also holding what they say is a gun.
Authorities believe Lloyd was killed with a .45-caliber Glock, which they have said hasn’t been recovered. Prosecutors have said previously that a gun Hernandez is seen holding in the home surveillance appears to be a Glock.
Authorities recovered an ammunition clip for .45-caliber bullets in Hernandez’s Hummer as well as ammunition of the same caliber inside a condo he rented in Franklin, Mass.
The previously sealed documents were released after several media organizations, including The Associated Press, filed motions seeking access and Judge Daniel O’Shea agreed Wednesday that they are public records.
Speaking at length Thursday for the first time since Hernandez’s arrest, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said the team has had a challenging offseason and that it must work hard to re-establish what we’re all about.
Certainly, it’s a very tragic thing that happened and someone loses their life, Brady said during a 17-minute session on the team’s practice field, but all those things were out of the players’ control here. We’re not really a part of that situation.
He declined to answer several questions, saying he had been advised not to.
They included whether he had spoken with Hernandez or whether Hernandez had apologized to him after the tight end was linked to the investigation.
During Hernandez’s three seasons since being drafted by the Patriots, he was one of Brady’s top receivers.
Asked if he thought he knew Hernandez, Brady said, the relationship that you have as a football player, the relationship you have within the walls of (Gillette Stadium) are what they are and then people have their own life.
Asked if Hernandez had fit in with his former teammates, Brady said, I don’t think any of that really matters to me or matters to anything that’s going on with the legal process or anything like that.
And the Hernandez case has been zero distraction for him.
You trust in your other teammates and you trust them to do their job so that you can do your job, Brady said.
Defensive tackle Vince Wilfork also spoke Thursday but didn’t mention Hernandez’s name.
You’re dealing with a real-life situation, so it’s easy to get caught up in the media or speculations. We’re not here for that, Wilfork said. I feel bad for the victim’s family, but we have to move forward as a football team.
The University of Florida, where Hernandez played in college, also said it is removing all references to him in and around the stadium in Gainesville. The University Athletic Association said in a statement it didn’t feel it was appropriate to celebrate the former Gator.