A dark day
In America, nothing can captivate our attention like competitive sports and no sport gets our blood flowing like NFL football. But stories like themurder investigation help to put sports into proper perspective. The disturbing details of the case leave us asking a lot of questions. Probably the one question on everybody’s mind is why. Why would such a talented player with such an unlimited future destroy his own home security system. It is reported that the security system contained video surveillance and the Patriot’s tight end was later charged with obstruction of justice for destroying it and for reportedly smashing his own cell phone into pieces.
On June 17 2013, the dead body of a semi-pro linebacker was discovered in an industrial park about a mile from Hernandez’s million dollar, North Attleboro home.
Twenty-seven year old Odin Lloyd had been shot in the head and left in a scrubby clearing. It is estimated that he was shot between 1 AM and 6 AM but his body was discovered by a jogging teenager at around 5 PM. Hernandez, who has been arrested and charged with first degree murder and five other gun-related charges, is presumed innocent until proven guilty but it’s hard not to wonder what would drive the talented young man to get rid of his home security system. What we do know is one young man is dead, murdered in cold blood and it seems like someone took some pretty extreme steps to hide something. Hernandez also hired a cleaning team to come and scrub his home the day Lloyd was murdered.
Why destroy a security system
Going through the trouble of breaking a video security system and getting rid of any evidence seems like a drastic thing to do for no reason. The main thing police look for in situations like this is evidence and suspicious behavior. When a person goes out of their way to hide their actions that is going to draw a lot of red flags. Now hiring the cleaning team the same day as you get rid of all video evidence on your DVR is pretty disconcerting in itself. New England Patriots owner Robert Craft was quoted as saying, “If this stuff is true, then I’ve been duped and our whole organization has been duped.” So, what would be the motivation behind all of this?
A bright future
Aaron Hernandez was one of the most explosive receivers in the NFL and one half of the patriots super, tight end tandem. The twenty-three year old University of Florida graduate was drafted by the patriots in the fourth round following his junior senior. He amassed nearly 2,000 receiving yards, 18 touchdowns and a pro bowl appearance in his short, three year NFL career. He was one of the best in the business and a favorite target of all pro quarterback Tom Brady. Now he’s been released by the Patriots and even if he’s acquitted, his professional football career may be over.
In college, Hernandez was the roommate of the squeaky clean Tim Tebow and the two were reunited when the Patriots signed Tebow to a one year deal earlier this year. But the monumental reunion would be short lived. What may be most surprising is that a player of Bill Belichick made negative waves in the media. As public perception of NFL players has taken a turn for the worse, Belichick has run one of the tightest ships in pro sports football history. The only time you hear about the patriots is as a unit. They don’t showboat or brag, they just win. Hernandez had some issues in college which hurt his draft stock but the patriots were known for turning troubled players around and for his first three seasons, it seemed Hernandez was no exception. He was on his way to becoming an icon when this story derailed his entire future. On August 27 2012, the patriots signed the former Mackey award winner to a contract extension which paid him the highest signing bonus of any tight end in league history.
A troubled past
It seems that prior to this case, Aaron Hernandez was no stranger to violence. He was allegedly involved in a 200? bar fight in Gainesville that left an employee with a burst ear drum. The employee told police that Hernandez, who was only seventeen at the time, punched him in the head, bursting his ear drum. Tim Tebow is listed as a witness in the case which is classified as a felony battery. It is unclear how the case was resolved. That same year, Hernandez was questioned by police about a double shooting after a Florida loss. Police say Hernandez answered their questions and no charges were filed.
Hernandez is also at the center of a pending civil suit in Florida stemming from a shooting that took place earlier this year. 31 year old Alexander Bradley was shot in his face and arm on February 13 and he has filed a lawsuit against Hernandez. Bradley said he was shot while riding in the car with Hernandez and two other men. He was found bleeding from the face and arm in a South Florida industrial park about an hour north of the club where he spent the evening with Aaron Hernandez. Bradley now has only partial use of his right arm and lost his right eye completely. He is suing Hernandez for over $100,000 but he may have to wait for the criminal cases to finish before he sees any money.
The circumstances in the Alexander Bradley case are so similar to the Odin Lloyd murder case that Bradley is being subpoenaed by Superior Court Judge Joan Alexander to appear in Massachusetts on July 17. Alexander Bradley’s civil lawsuit was filed four days prior to the discovery of Odin Lloyd’s body.
Boston police have recruited the assistance of Bristol Connecticut (Hernandez’s hometown) police in their investigation of a double homicide that occurred in Boston’s south end on July 15 2012. Authorities say that Safiro Furtado and Daniel Correia de Abreu were killed and a third person was injured. Witnesses reported seeing shots fired from a grey SUV and Bristol police seized a vehicle from Hernandez’s Bristol home Friday. Hernandez hasn’t been officially named as a suspect but is listed as a possible person of interest. It has been speculated that Lloyd had information about this case and that may be the reason he was killed.
Washing their hands
As would any franchise, the Patriots are scurrying to distance themselves from the negative publicity brought on by their former player’s involvement in Odin Lloyd’s murder. They released Hernandez the day he was charged with first degree murder but images of him in their uniform continue to grace the T.V. and newspapers on a daily basis. On July 6 the Patriots went a step further to separate themselves from Aaron Hernandez. Hundreds of former Hernandez fans lined up outside the Patriot’s Pro Shop to exchange their jerseys for another Patriots player. Patriots spokesperson Stacey James explains that children love wearing Patriot’s gear but may not understand why their parents don’t want them wearing Hernandez’s jersey. This is all an effort to wash their hands of their former tight end.
Hernandez is presumed innocent until he is found guilty in a court of law but we can only wonder what would drive the young man to destroy his own home security system. There are so many questions and few answers at this point in time but we know that three young men are dead and Aaron Hernandez is at the center of the police’s investigation. He has pled not-guilty to the Odin Lloyd murder and hasn’t been named as a suspect in the double homicide of 2012. He is currently being detained in a Bristol county jail without bail and is reported to be housed in a single cell for his own protection. Pending cooperation by Alexander Bradley, Palm Beach County sheriff’s office may bring up charges against Hernandez for the shooting of Bradley. Whatever happens to Hernandez from this day forward one thing is for certain. His once bright future has been enshrouded in darkness by his violent past.