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Investigators search highway in connection with Aaron Hernandez murder case

Aaron HernandezOn Wednesday morning, authorities searched an area along Route 95 south in Dedham, Mass. for the second straight day in connection with the Aaron Hernandez murder investigation. According to FOX 25 in Boston, Mass. State Police troopers and seven investigators scoured a specific area along the shoulder of the highway and grass closest to the far left travel lane.

FOX 25’s source reportedly confirmed that the search was related to the Hernandez case, though it was unclear if anything was found. Police believe Hernandez traveled the route on his way back to his home in North Attleboro the night Odin Lloyd was murdered. Authorities have speculated that a side mirror came off Hernandez’s rental car at some point during that journey.

Earlier this month, the district attorney in Hernandez’s case asked the public for help in locating the missing side mirror. More than two weeks have passed since the public’s help was sought, and it appears the mirror is still missing.

[Related: Silver SUV linked to 2012 shooting found at  Hernandez's uncle's house]

A source also reportedly told FOX 25 that detectives could be looking for ballistic evidence like shell casings and ammunition that would help determine if a gun was fired from the rental car as it traveled down the highway.

It should also be noted that investigators have given no indication at this point that the murder weapon has been found. There has been ammunition and other evidence seized in connection with the Lloyd murder, but the specific gun that was used to shoot him is allegedly still missing.

See all the LBS coverage of the Aaron Hernandez murder case

Rob Gronkowski almost walks out on interview over Aaron Hernandez questions (Video)

Rob-Gronkowski-interviewRob Gronkowski and his family sat down for an interview with “CBS This Morning” on Wednesday, and the segment was filled with laughter and stories about Rob’s brothers beating up on him when they were growing up. In addition, there were questions about Aaron Hernandez. Those seemed to irritate the New England Patriots tight end.

CBS’ Don Dahler would not have been doing his job if he didn’t ask about Hernandez, as it has been by far the biggest news story in the NFL over the past several weeks. But Gronk refused to bite.

“Next question,” he said when asked about his former teammate. “I learned that from Drew Rosenhaus. Next question.”

Gronk’s brothers laughed, and Dahler then turned his attention to Rob’s father Gordon to see if he had any thoughts on the murder investigation.

“I’m not going to comment on that,” Gord said.

At that point, Gronk stood up like he was getting ready to leave the interview. It’s hard to tell if he was joking or not, but he sat back down when Dahler wisely changed the subject.

This is how it’s going to be for a while for the Patriots and those who have any connection to the organization. Reporters aren’t going to stop asking, but the players aren’t going to start answering. We saw how uncomfortable Gronk was when asked about Hernandez and teammate Alfonzo Dennard last week. His interview with Dahler was probably just another sign of what’s to come.

H/T WBZ Boston News

Patriots RB Shane Vereen: Aaron Hernandez arrest ‘definitely’ surprising

Shane VereenAaron Hernandez was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and five other gun-related charges for the shooting death of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd last month. As soon as Hernandez was implicated in the murder, the New England Patriots began distancing themselves from the tight end. They cut him the morning he was arrested.

Though the team and owner Robert Kraft have commented on Hernandez, very little has been heard from the team’s current players. LBS spoke with Pats running back Shane Vereen on Monday about the team’s reaction to the situation.

“I haven’t really talked to many guys,” Vereen told Larry Brown Sports, “but the guys I have talked to, we’re still united, we’re still a team. It’s something we have to move on from and focus on the season.”

Vereen, who is entering his third season in the league, spoke to LBS at the Bear Trap Entertainment All-Star Celebrity Kickoff Party at the Playboy Mansion on Monday night, and said he was surprised by Hernandez’s arrest.

“Definitely,” Vereen answered when asked if the arrest surprised him. “But at the same time, we don’t really know much about it. At the same time all we can really do is go out and play football and do what we can do.”

[Related: Ex-Pats OL Matt Light never believed in what Hernandez stood for]

There were reports that Vereen lined up as a receiver at times during the spring and that he could do that some more during the season as a way of filling Hernandez’s role in the offense. Vereen was vague about those plans when asked.

“We do a lot of things with our offense. A lot of people with a lot of different positions. I’ve lined up at receiver before, we might do it again this year. You never know. Depends on what the coaches feel like.”

Vereen is hoping the team and offense can repeat their past success in the upcoming season.

“Hopefully some wins,” Vereen said when asked about expectations for the season. “It’s all about the team, it’s all about the offense as a unit. Hopefully we can be as successful as we’ve been in past seasons.”

Vereen is the latest in a strong line of running backs to come from Cal. From J.J. Arrington to Marshawn Lynch to Justin Forsett, Jahvid Best, and now Vereen, Cal has put a number of running backs in the NFL in the past decade. Vereen told LBS that is a source of pride for them.

“Yeah, we take big pride in that. A lot of is credit to our former running back coach Ron Gould, who’s now the head coach at UC Davis. We work hard at that and take pride in it.”

Vereen saw an increased workload last season and more action in the playoffs. With Danny Woodhead gone, he should see even more work this season.

Maurkice Pouncey apologizes for wearing ‘Free Hernandez’ hat

Pouncey-brothers-free-Hernandez-hats

Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey has apologized for his wardrobe selection over the weekend. As you likely saw, Maurkice and his twin brother Mike wore hats that said “Free Hernandez” to a club in Miami on Saturday night while celebrating their birthday.

There was speculation over the weekend that the Steelers had already spoken to Maurkice about the ramifications that are associated with supporting Aaron Hernandez as he awaits trial for a murder charge. On Monday morning, Maurkice posted a message on Twitter.

“I fully recognize the seriousness of the situation involving my former teammate, and I regret that my actions appear to make light of that serious situation,” he wrote. “I apologize to anyone who was offended by my actions.”

There is no word yet on whether the Dolphins had a similar talk with Mike, but don’t be surprised if an apology is coming from him as well. The Pouncey brothers were friends with Hernandez at Florida and even had their names mentioned in a report about a shooting that took place in Gainesville back in 2007.

[RelatedSnoop Dogg shows support for Aaron Hernandez]

There’s no way two grown men didn’t know that wearing hats supporting a person who has been charged with murder would cause a stir. I’m sure they got exactly what they want with all the attention it received. The apology might as well have come directly from the Steelers, because we all know they were behind it.

Carlos Ortiz labeled ‘rat’ in neighborhood for giving up Aaron Hernandez

Carlos OrtizThree weeks ago, Carlos Ortiz had a much different relationship with former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez. The 27-year-old was not a star witness who may be providing investigators with enough information to put Hernandez away for life. Instead, he was a close friend.

Ortiz hangs around on a street called Davis Drive in Bristol, Conn. — where Hernandez also grew up. He is known as “Charlie” in his neighborhood and has several family members who live there, including three children he has fathered with three women. According to USA Today Sports, the residents of Davis Drive used to cover for him when he got into trouble with the law. But now, Ortiz has been labeled a “rat.”

“He was one of us,” Ortiz’s cousin Jose Torres told USA Today Sports.

Ortiz is currently being held without bail for his potential involvement in the murder of Odin Lloyd, and jail may be a safer place for him than his own neighborhood. Amber Schryer, who said she used to let Ortiz crash on her couch, summarized what the people of Davis Drive are feeling about the Hernandez situation.

[Read more...]

Mike and Maurkice Pouncey wear ‘Free Hernandez’ hats to birthday party

Pouncey-brothers-free-Hernandez-hats

Twin brothers Mike and Maurkice Pouncey were teammates with Aaron Hernandez at the University of Florida. The three stars won a BCS National Championship together in 2009 and reportedly hung out together, so you can understand why the Pounceys might continue to support their friend as he awaits trial for the murder of Odin Lloyd.

Just don’t do it publicly.

Twitter user @JazzyNice5 shared a photo of the Pouncey brothers wearing “Free Hernandez” hats on Saturday night while they were celebrating their birthday at Cameo nightclub in Miami. Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun Sentinel confirmed that the twins were there, and Maurkice tweeted the following photo earlier in the night:

[Read more...]

Aaron Hernandez got security system at mansion because of break-in attempts

Aaron Hernandez mansion

Aaron Hernandez recently outfitted his mansion with a sophisticated security system to combat multiple break-in attempts at the residence, his girlfriend reportedly told police.

According to the Boston Herald, Hernandez’s girlfriend, Shayanna Jenkins, told police “there had been several 
recent break-in attempts at their residence,” leading the former New England Patriots tight end to install a security system at his North Attleboro, Mass., home this spring. The break-in attempts also reportedly led Hernandez to lease his “flop house” in Franklin in late April.

At least 14 security cameras were in place around Hernandez’s home to record surveillance video. A police report states that a security expert came to the mansion in May to show Hernandez how to connect and disconnect individual cameras in case he didn’t want some things being recorded.

Hernandez reportedly destroyed the hard drive for his home security system and turned off cameras for a certain amount of time the night of Odin Lloyd’s murder.

Installing a sophisticated security system to protect your mansion is not at all unusual, but having several recent break-in attempts at the home could indicate some shady activity was being conducted there.

See all the LBS coverage of the Aaron Hernandez murder investigation

Image via WPRI