BOSTON -- New details surfaced late Wednesday night further tying Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez to the investigation of a homicide of a Boston man. Hernandez's involvement in the case is significant enough that a source with knowledge of the investigation said that Hernandez's arrest is likely. It is not yet known what he would be charged with.
On Thursday ABC News reported that a security system in Hernandez's home, which included video surveillance, was smashed intentionally and a cell phone was handed over to police "in pieces" by Hernandez's attorneys. A cleaning crew was seen leaving Hernandez's home on Monday before the police searched the residence.
Boston's Fox 25 News, citing an anonymous source, reported on Wednesday night that forensic evidence linked a vehicle driven by Aaron Hernandez at the crime scene. The television station also reported that Hernandez was with the homicide victim, Odin Lloyd, at a Boston bar the night of his death. A jogger found Lloyd's body in an industrial park a mile from Hernandez's North Attleboro, Mass., home on Monday.
The latest incident continues a pattern of Hernandez being associated with guns that began in college. SI.com uncovered two new incidents that Hernandez was associated with involving guns and police. Those incidents are in addition to his inclusion in a civil lawsuit by a man who claims Hernandez shot him and that led to the loss of his eye.
- SI.com obtained a Providence police report that detailed an incident in which police found a gun disposed under a car after a Jets fan confronted Hernandez at 2:26 a.m. on May 18 on Thayer Street in Providence. The report stated: "Brown Police observed a black male, heavy set wearing a stripped (sic) shirt, discard (sic) a firearm under a vehicle in front of the Karta Bar." Michael E. Correia, a Detective Captain with the Providence Police Department, told SI.com that officers were unable to determine who put the gun under the car and which side of the altercation they were on. "We couldn't determine if the person was with Hernandez or with the person who seemed to be taunting Aaron Hernandez," Correia said.
- In 2007, Gainesville police interviewed Hernandez about a shooting that took place late after Florida's 20-17 loss to Auburn. Hernandez was not considered a suspect in the case. His mother confirmed to the Orlando Sentinel that Hernandez and a friend from Connecticut were in a nightclub near where the shooting took place.
- On Tuesday, the story emerged of a Hernandez's alleged involvement in a civil lawsuit. Alexander S. Bradley alleges that Hernandez shot him with a gun Hernandez illegally possessed, leading to Bradley losing the vision in his right eye. The alleged incident occurred on the way home from a strip club. "Hernandez shot him," said Bradley's lawyer David Jaroslawicz in a phone interview with SI.com. "It's either a negligence case or a deliberate shooting. We'll see if Hernandez wants to come in and raise his right hand and tell us what happened."
The current murder investigation is the most serious of the incidents that Hernandez has been involved with. And it doesn't appear to be going away anytime soon as Massachusetts State Police searched in and around his home on Wednesday after what appeared to be a full-scale search warrant execution with 10 police cars on Tuesday.
But the pattern of Hernandez showing up in court filings and on police reports hints at a life lived in the margins and surrounded by questionable people. Hernandez also admitted to NFL teams that he failed numerous drug tests prior to the 2010 NFL Draft. That disclosure combined with multiple NFL personnel sources telling SI.com that some teams had concerns that Hernandez was associated with some people with gang ties, reveals why so many teams passed on Hernandez in that draft. He had emerged as the most dominant tight end in college football that year, but his off-field issues led him to slip all the way to the fourth round.
Hernandez's friends from back home in Connecticut always concerned the coaches at the University of Florida, according to one of Hernandez's former coaches there. The coaching staff worried whenever Hernandez returned home to Connecticut.
"There were always people that were trying to surround themselves with him that weren't in his best interest and they were around him," said the former coach. "For him, it's like anything else. He's a good-hearted kid who had a hard time saying no."
The former coach said that Hernandez called him on Sunday to wish him a happy Father's Day and spoke to the coach's children, as he often does. The coach said that Hernandez has struggled since the sudden death of his father while he was in high school.
"He's a lovable kid," the coach said of Hernandez. "He's always welcome in my house and he's always called my kids and talked to them. He's a great kid, but since his father passed away the maturity part has been a little bit of a struggle."