Report: Aaron Hernandez’s uncle killed in moped crash

An uncle of Aaron Hernandez was killed in a moped crash in Bristol, Conn., early Saturday morning, WFSB in Bristol reports.

49-year-old Robert Valentine was pronounced dead at the scene after being thrown from his moped during a crash. Valentine was not wearing a helmet and his head against a curb, police told WFSB.

Valentine is the brother of Hernandez’s mother, per the report.

This is the second time in a month that a relative of Hernandez has died in a crash on the road. Last month, the husband of Hernandez’s cousin died in a car crash.

What a terrible month for the Hernandez family.

Aaron Hernandez letter from jail: ‘It will all die down when they say not guilty’

Aaron HernandezAaron Hernandez has been writing letters as he remains inside a cell at Bristol County House of Corrections awaiting trial for the murder of Odin Lloyd. One of those letters, which he allegedly wrote to a fan, has gone public.

According to TMZ, this letter was written by Hernandez in response to a fan who sent him a letter telling him how he was in the same jail 15 years ago. Law enforcement officials have reportedly verified the authenticity of the letter, in which Hernandez asked the fan to “keep this off social media please.” So much for that.

In the message, Hernandez emphasized to the fan that he is not guilty and that the “false accusations” will “all die down” when a judge rules in his favor. He also said that God has placed him in prison for a reason and that he has kept a smile on his face, adding that he is a “strong person” with an “amazing heart.” Here’s a transcription of the letter:

[Read more...]

Police reportedly search lake in Aaron Hernandez’s hometown for murder weapon

Aaron HernandezOne major snag that prosecutors could face in the Aaron Hernandez murder investigation is that the murder weapon that was used to kill Odin Lloyd has not yet been found. Police have seized several pieces of key evidence including ammunition and surveillance photos that appear to show Hernandez holding a handgun, but the gun used to shoot Lloyd remains missing.

Investigators may have been searching for it again on Monday morning. According to WFSB in Connecticut, a crew searched Pine Lake in Hernandez’s hometown of Bristol, Conn. for a possible weapon connected to the murder of Lloyd. Police reportedly began the search after receiving a tip from someone who said the .45 caliber Glock that was allegedly used to kill Lloyd may have been thrown into the lake.

Officials said that investigators would likely be at the lake all day and may return Tuesday if nothing is found, so it could be a strong tip.

Earlier this month, police searched a stretch of highway in Massachusetts and were believed to be looking for the murder weapon among other ballistic evidence. It is unknown if that search turned up anything significant, but the report from Monday would seem to indicate the search for the murder weapon continues.

See all the LBS coverage on the Aaron Hernandez murder case

H/T Pro Football Talk

Report: Odin Lloyd was poor, couldn’t afford a car

Odin Lloyd27-year-old Odin Lloyd was murdered in June, and former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez and two others are in custody facing charges related to the slaying.

Not a whole lot about Lloyd is known. We know that he played for a semi-pro football team called the Boston Bandits. We know that he dated the sister of Hernandez’s fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins. we know that Lloyd and Hernandez hung out independent of their girlfriends.

What’s unclear is what Lloyd did for a living. We know he played for free for the semi-pro team, and friends say he still had dreams of one day playing in the NFL. There is suspicion that he was a drug dealer. Jenkins told police that she knew Lloyd smoked marijuana and was a marijuana dealer.

If Lloyd was a dealer, then he was a poor one.

ABC News looked into Lloyd’s connection to Hernandez, and they say friends described Lloyd as poor. According to ABC:

Friends said Lloyd couldn’t afford a car and would bike 20 miles to make it to Bandits games. There were also times, friends said, that the talented linebacker couldn’t even afford a uniform and would wear jerseys with other players’ names on them.

Lloyd’s coach with the Bandits, Mike Branch, was adamant to ABC that Lloyd had nothing to do with drugs.

“He wasn’t a drug dealer,” Branch told ABC. “[If] you [are] a drug dealer, you ain’t riding a bike to practice, you know?”

If Lloyd dealt, then maybe he was a low-level dealer just starting out. Drugs may have provided a connection between the two men. In addition to failing drug tests in college, Hernandez and/or his associates may have been involved in the drug scene. Recall that police seized equipment typically used by drug dealers when they searched Hernandez’s home earlier this month.

Curious about a potential motive for the killing? This might be the answer.

Aaron Hernandez surveillance photos appear to show him holding gun night of murder

Aaron HernandezProsecutors have claimed that some of the strongest pieces of evidence they have against Aaron Hernandez supporting his alleged involvement in the murder of Odin Lloyd are surveillance photos of him holding a handgun the night of the shooting. On Thursday, we got our first look at those photos.

Boston Globe reporter Brian Ballou obtained a copy of a 104-page affidavit which included some images of Hernandez holding an object that appeared to be a gun. He also appeared to be wearing the white hooded sweatshirt that investigators say he was wearing the night Lloyd was killed.

[Read more...]

Florida removes Aaron Hernandez’s All-American brick from football facility


Aaron Hernandez was selected as a first team All-American following his junior season at Florida in 2009. The university was proud of the accomplishment at the time and decided to etch Hernandez’s name in history with a brick outside of its football facility. In the wake of the 23-year-old’s arrest and ensuing murder charge, that pride seems to have disappeared.

Florida made the decision to remove the brick on Thursday.

[Read more...]

Bill Belichick on Aaron Hernandez: ‘I’m responsible for players we bring in’

Bill-Belichick-Aaron-HernandezBill Belichick spoke to the media on Tuesday for the first time since former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was arrested and charged with the murder of Odin Lloyd. While most of his press conference was vintage Belichick, he showed more compassion and regret than many people expected him to.

Belichick began the news conference by expressing his condolences to the Lloyd family and calling the murder a “tragedy.”

“This is a sad day on so many levels,” Belichick said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the victim.”

Belichick mentioned Hernandez by name at the very beginning of his lengthy opening statement, but only referred to him as “the player” from that point on. He stated that he agreed “100%” with the comments Patriots owner Robert Kraft made about the situation earlier this offseason, and then surprised some by taking responsibility for the fact that Hernandez did not work out.

“We’ll learn from this terrible experience,” Belichick said. “This does not in any way represent the way the New England Patriots want to do things. As coach, I’m primarily responsible for people we bring into this organization. Personally, I’m challenged by decisions that affect the team on a daily basis. We always try to do what’s best for the team. We’ll continue to do this and will work to do a better job going forward.”

[Related: Tom Brady gives first comments since Aaron Hernandez arrest]

After his opening statement, Belichick was very vague and answered very few questions. He said he has been advised to not speak about individuals who are involved in an ongoing investigation, but did give some insight when asked if the Patriots have looked into the claim that other football players visited Hernandez’s so-called “flop house.” He said the team has “absolutely done as much as we can” to gather information on that front.

Overall, I thought Belichick handled the situation well. He put his typical arrogance aside and delivered an adequate opening statement. While saying he has been advised to not speak about individuals who are involved in an ongoing investigation will be seen as a copout, it’s smart. Regardless of how compelling the evidence is against Hernandez, his trial has yet to even begin. Saying too much could get the team into trouble.

See all the LBS coverage of the Aaron Hernandez murder