By MICHELLE R. SMITH
FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — Lawyers in the murder trial of former New England Patriots star tight end Aaron Hernandez are set to deliver closing arguments to the jury, after a trial that has lasted more than two months and featured testimony from 135 witnesses and hundreds of pieces of evidence.
Hernandez is accused in the June 17, 2013, killing of Odin Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancee. Lloyd was shot six times and died in an industrial park less than a mile from Hernandez’s home. At the time, Hernandez had a $40 million contract with the Patriots.
Both sides have 90 minutes on Tuesday to make their case to the jury. Hernandez’s lawyer will go first, followed by the prosecution.
Prosecutors said Hernandez and two friends drove to Boston to pick up Lloyd at his home, then drove him to the industrial park in North Attleborough and killed him. Surveillance video along the way showed Hernandez driving a rented silver Nissan Altima shortly before Lloyd’s sister saw him get into a silver car. Soon after, a toll booth camera caught the Nissan leaving Boston. Lloyd’s phone pinged several cell towers before stopping in North Attleborough for good.
Surveillance video at Hernandez’s home minutes after the shooting showed him holding a black item that appeared to be a gun. A joint found near Lloyd’s body had Hernandez’s and Lloyd’s DNA on it.
But the defense has said the two men were friends and Hernandez would not have killed him. Prosecutors never presented a motive to jurors. The defense team has also gone after what it called sloppy police work.
After closing arguments, the judge will give the 15 members of the jury instructions. Three of the jurors will then be randomly selected as alternates. The 12-person jury will then be sent to deliberate. That is expected to happen Tuesday afternoon.
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