Text messages sent by Odin Lloyd to his sister on the night he died seem to implicate former NFL star Aaron Hernandez, especially given the circumstances outlined by prosecutors during his arrest. And although Lloyd’s texts appear to be general in nature, it is their timing and the juxtapositioning with other key pieces of evidence that make them chillingly prescient.
“Just so you know,” he texted, Yahoo Sports reported June 26.
It was the last message he would send. His body was found June 17. Odin Lloyd had been shot 5 times with a .45 handgun, twice in the back. He was 27 years old.
Aaron Hernandez was arrested and charged with murdering Lloyd in a Massachusetts courtroom Wednesday. Prosecutors, led by Bristol County District Attorney C. Samuel Sutter, did not accuse Hernandez of actually pulling the trigger, but they did say he orchestrated the entire incident.
Prosecutors say that Aaron Hernandez texted two friends in Connecticut to aid him in dealing with Lloyd after Hernandez became angry with Lloyd at a nightclub called Rumor two nights prior to the killing. Lloyd had apparently spoken with some people that Hernandez did not like and an altercation ensued.
Flash forward to June 16: Hernandez and the two men from Connecticut drive to Odin Lloyd’s home, where the semi-pro football player lived with his mother and sisters. One of his sisters saw him get into a silver Nissan Altima with the three men at just after 2:32 a.m. Prosecutors presented a text sent at that time from Hernandez to Lloyd as evidence. It simply stated, “We’re here.”
Surveillance video from the neighborhood show the silver Nissan entering the neighborhood at this time as well.
There would be four texts sent from Lloyd to his sister’s cellphone a half-hour later They would be his last.
At 3:07 a.m., Lloyd texted, “Did you see who I was with?”
When Lloyd doesn’t receive a response to his question, he texted again at 3:11 a.m with the prompt: “Hello.”
At 3:19 a.m., Lloyd’s sister responds, “My phone was dead. Who?”
At 3:22 a.m., Lloyd replies, “NFL.”
At 3:23 a.m., Lloyd adds: “Just so you know.”
At the same time, video surveillance footage shows a silver Nissan Altima pulling down a gravel road. Prosecutors noted that workers at a nearby plant heard gunshots sometime between 3:23 a.m. and 3:27 a.m. The silver Altima is seen again exiting from the gravel road and headed in the direction of Hernandez’ home, which is less than a mile away, a short two-minute drive.
Other damning evidence presented by the prosecutors against Hernandez includes video surveillance footage of Hernandez waving a handgun outside his home just before the he and the guys from Connecticut got into the car. Also: Shell casings found in the car, which Hernandez traded in on June 17 for another vehicle, and at the scene of the shooting were .45 calibre.
For his part, Hernandez pleaded not guilty.
According to ESPN.com, Hernandez’ attorney, Michael Fee, said, “It is at bottom a circumstantial case. It is not a strong case.”
Still, as it is often said, timing is everything. And the timeline laid down by the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office appears to be terribly incriminating.
Less than two hours after his arrest, Hernandez was released by the New England Patriots. He was chosen by the Patriots in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft and just recently signed a $40 million contract.