ABC News: Hernandez Destroyed Cell Phones, Home Surveillance System
(WGGB/AP) – Several new developments surfaced Thursday as police continue to investigate Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez in connection to the death of a young man found dead near his home earlier this week.
27-year-old Odin Lloyd, a semi-pro football player, was found dead earlier this week in an industrial park about one mile from Hernandez’s North Attleborough home.
Llyod’s family has told the Associated Press that Hernandez had some connection to Lloyd, but would not elaborate.
A Massachusetts State Police emergency response team on Thursday was searching the brush with metal detectors and poles on a road leading to the entrance to Hernandez’s subdivision.
Since the discovery of Llyod’s body Monday, investigators have been in and out of Hernandez’s home several times, armed with search warrants.
Hernandez attorney Michael Fee acknowledged media reports about the state police search of Hernandez’s home as part of an investigation but said he and the player wouldn’t have any comment on it.
Sources tell ABC News that investigators plan return to Hernandez’s house Thursday, armed with another search warrant, after evidence suggests that the Patriots tight end may have destroyed his home security and video surveillance system.
Law enforcement officials also want to know why house cleaners were called to Hernandez’s house Monday to clean the mansion.
ABC News adds, citing law enforcement sources, that attorneys have also handed over a cell phone allegedly used by Hernandez that was “in pieces.”
As local and national media remained positioned outside Hernandez’s North Attleborough home, late Thursday morning, he left the residence and headed to Gillette Stadium.
Patriots spokesman Stacey James told the Associated Press that the team had no comment on why Hernandez was there. He said earlier that the team did not anticipate commenting publicly during the police investigation.
About an hour later, Hernandez left the complex and headed north, eventually pulling into downtown Boston parking garge.
Meanwhile, in Florida, a civil federal lawsuit was refiled Thursday by 32-year-old Alexander Bradley against Hernandez.
Bradley is alleging that back in February, he and Hernandez had gotten into an argument on February 13, 2013 outside a strip club in Miami.
The men, along with two other people, got into a car and were leaving Miami towards Palm Beach when Hernandez “caused the gun to go off while aiming it” at Bradley, the suit says.
The gunshot allegedly resulted in Bradley losing his right eye and necessitated screws and plates inserted into the right side of his face. He also suffered injuries to his right hand and arm.
The suit was originally filed last week, but, at the request of Bradley’s attorney, was dismissed without prejudice and refiled Thursday.
TMZ, who first reported on the lawsuit, notes that the dismissal was due to a clerical error.
The AP adds that Bradley did not mention Hernandez in a Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office report at the time. Bradley, found shot and bleeding in an alley behind a John Deere store, insisted to investigators he did not know who shot him and gave only a vague description of possible assailants.
A store employee found Bradley after hearing a shot outside, but the store’s video surveillance system wasn’t working.
Hernandez’s lawyer did not immediately respond Thursday to an email from the Associated Press seeking comment about the lawsuit. The lawsuit does not mention how Hernandez and Bradley are acquainted.
In another development Thursday, police in Providence, R.I., told the Associated Press that Hernandez was taunted in May by a man at a nightclub near the Brown University campus but walked away. The man followed Hernandez for three blocks and a crowd formed, held back by police while Hernandez got into his vehicle and left.
The Patriots drafted Hernandez out of Florida in 2010. Since then, he has combined with Rob Gronkowski to form one of the top tight end duos in the NFL. He missed 10 games last season with an ankle injury and had shoulder surgery in April but is expected to be ready for training camp. Last summer, the Patriots gave him a five-year contract worth $40 million.
Hernandez said after he was drafted that he had failed a drug test while with the Gators and had been upfront with NFL teams about the issue.
ABC40 will continue to follow this story and have the very latest as it becomes available.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.