Opening statements in the murder trial of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez have started after being delayed because of jury issues.
Hernandez, 25, is charged with first-degree murder and other weapons charges over the June 2013 shooting death of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancée. Hernandez pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Opening statements originally had been planned for Tuesday, but they were moved back because of a blizzard in the area this week.
Prosecutors laid out their case against Hernandez on Thursday, just days before Hernandez's old team is set play in the Super Bowl.
Hernandez and two other men allegedly picked up Lloyd and drove him to a secluded area a mile from Hernandez’s home, according to court records. Lloyd was then allegedly shot several times with a .45-caliber handgun. The two other men allegedly involved, Carlos Ortiz and Ernest Wallace Jr., have also been charged with murder and will be tried separately.
Hernandez's mother, brother and fiancée Shayanna Jenkins, were in attendance for the first day of the trial. Lloyd's girlfriend, who is Jenkins' sister, was seen sitting with the Lloyd family.
Prosecutors have said they expect the trial to last two-and-a-half months and that they expect to call about 45 witnesses. Patriots owner Robert Kraft, head coach Bill Belichick, Buffalo Bills linebacker Brandon Spikes and Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey are listed by prosecutors as possible witnesses for the trial.
Hernandez was also charged with murder for a separate 2012 double shooting for allegedly killing two men after one of them spilled a drink on him at a Boston nightclub. He has pleaded not guilty in that case.
- Scooby Axson