tv CNN Special Report CNN March 21, 2015 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT
so bad. and the lesson was don't surround yourself with people like you. >> don't solve problems in your own head. when you try to go it alone, you end up by yourself. >> amazing work being done by her in the world food program. thank you for being with me. i'm poppy harlow in new york, have a great evening. >> the following is a cnn special report. ♪ >> tonight, aaron hernandez. he was a rising nfl star racing toward greatness. >> what's the meaning on your forearm? >> if it is to be, it's up to me. basically saying my life is in my hands, and whatever i want my life to be, it's up to me to make it out that way. >> the question now, what sort of life did the ex-patriot make for himself?
>> he wanted to be the best. >> but he's accused of the worst. >> how do you plead? >> not guilty. >> why would a football player, a highly successful, affluent, popular football player be a murderer? >> as the nfl struggles to deal with issues of abuse and violence, hernandez goes on trial for murder. what will his jury hear? who might they hear from? and how could it all end? >> do you think there's a chance that aaron hernandez may be found not guilty? >> that's my biggest fear. >> downward spiral. inside the case against aaron hernandez. ♪ >> it was a perfect day for football. >> the coach of the boston bandits, a semipro team. he remembers another day just
like this. june 15th, 2013. something seems out of place. >> a black suburban pulls in front of me. then there is odin lloyd. he thinks it is add because lloyd doesn't own a car. lloyd is busy telling his buddies about the good time he had at a club the night before. >> he said he was out with aaron hernandez, and they were partying, had a good time, and that mr. hernandez had a good time. >> mr. hernandez is aaron hernandez, a $40 million star
with the new england patriots. >> how much money? >> he said $10,000. >> in one night? >> yeah. >> his best buddies, daryle h hodge, and daryle sweet. they say he was not much for partying. >> and family. >> he always took care of his mom and sisters. >> my brother and i were kind of like i wouldn't say best friends, but, you know, as close as siblings can get. >> in and out. >> branch, who also coached lloyd in high school, didn't hesitate to give him advice as an adult, and an occasional reality check. >> at some point, you realize you're not going to the nfl. this is just going to be for
fun. what i got to do to get myself a life. >> he said lloyd was doing landscaping while figuring out what next. >> i spoke to him about taking firefighter tests. >> lloyd also began dating college student shayanna jenkins. she's the link between the young man who dreamed of the nfl and the all american who made it. >> what's your understanding of how they met? >> they were dating sisters. >> shayanna jenkins is the younger sister of shayanna, who is engaged to hernandez and mother of his little girl. >> but how close were the talented tight end and the struggling landscaper? >> how much do you know that they hung out together? >> rarely. two different worlds. buddy had one world. we got our world. >> checking out my new camera. >> on sunday, june 16th, father's day 2013, odin lloyd is cruising with his friends in
that mysterious black suburban. >> we had the music playing, jamming to the music and stuff. we're laughing, we're talking. odin's driving. got the one hand-type driving, like he's just having fun. later, we went to my mom's house, he was playing pool. >> over the table, over the door. >> i think odin wanted to make the most tough shots i've ever seen. >> it was a good day. >> it was a great day. >> y'all got that? i hope you got that. >> a great day. >> and it was coming to an end. after lloyd got a text from his job, saying he had to work the next morning. >> then he got another text asking to hang out. >> a text from hernandez. >> just, let's have another great night. >> i take it that thought, man, you got to go to work the next day.
>> go home. it's already like 9, 9ish. >> so when you guys left each other, what do you remember saying to him? >> see you later. >> little did he know there would be no later. the next night, monday june 17th, 5:37 p.m., lloyd's bod y is discovered by a jogger in north attleborough, 35 miles south of where he lived. here at the crime scene, investigators find odin lloyd's wallet, his driver's license, five .45 caliber shell casings. they suggest he was shot in the back and then finished off lying face off in this secluded area of an industrial park. darrell hodge learns of the murder from lloyd's sister, olivia, who calls him. >> i can hear it. >> did she say he's dead? >> in between the crying and balling, odin's dead. i'll with you in a minute.
i got to the house, i got inside. >> and you saw his mom? >> yes. >> what did she say? >> darryl, who killed my son? what do you say to that? i immediately fell to my knees and gave her a hug. i was like, i don't know. i don't know. >> that night was tough for daryl sweet, who was also at lloyd's home. >> i just went back and sat in my car. hold on. >> what were the questions in your head? >> who was he with? who he possibly could have been with until i got the news about it. >> shaquilla is lloyd's youngest sister. she had seen them picked up from
their house and driven away earlier that night. just before lloyd dies, police say he sends shaquilla chilling text messages. at 3:07 a.m., lloyd asks, you saw who i'm with. at 3:11 he checks in again, saying, hello. 3:19, shaquilla answers, my phone was dead. who was that? 3:22 a.m., lloyd answers nfl. and a minute later, at 3:23 a.m., lloyd sends his very last text. just so you know. >> something's going down. >> but what was going down? and why? still ahead, will the jury ever see that final text? not in the defense can help it. >> these messages do not suggest
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find evidence. distinctive tire tracks, lloyd's cell phone and keys for the black suburban he'd been driving all weekend. police quickly learn it was rented by new england patriot aaron hernandez. over the next several days, investigators search his home and cars, removing bags of possible evidence. june 26, 2013, nine days after the murder of odin lloyd, hernandez and arrested. >> the charges, first-degree premeditated murder, and having illegal weapons. his plea --
>> not guilty. >> and he's no longer a new england patriot. >> i and other members of the organization were shocked. and disappointed. >> hernandez is canned. before he reaches the courthouse. >> mr. hernandez is charged with a very serious crime, but that shouldn't be enough to hold him without bail. >> and he's staying in jail. his attempts at bail, denied. >> i think the commonwealth has presented a case that is circumstantial, to be sure, but very, very strong. >> hours after his arrest, the >> four months before odin lloyd is gunned down, the player is at tootsie's strip club in miami. one of the men that he is with is alexander bradley.
prosecutors describe him as hernandez's former right-hand man. by morning, bradley is shot in the face, dumped out of a vehicle, and left for dead. still wearing his now blood soaked vip wristband from the club. police retrieve this bullet fragment from his head, but bradley won't give them any details. >> when the police investigated this incident, he didn't point the finger at hernandez. >> that changes when he sues and says hernandez cost him height right eye. he says he was shot after hernandez felt disrespected during an argument over a missing cell phone. prosecutors say hernandez gets a new right-hand man.
a man named ernst wallace. >> he is more commonly known by his nickname hobo, or o. he has a long criminal history. they say he sells and uses drugs including angel dust or pcp. court documents show his sidekick carlos ortiz admits he's regularly using pcp, alcohol and thc. >> sources say aaron hernandez also smoked a lot of pot, one calling it a boat load. >> prosecutors say hernandez would give him money to buy marijuana. cnn obtained this photograph of a stack of blunts. a source says it was made with marijuana, said to be supplied by hernandez. sources tell cnn aaron hernandez also used angel dust and that could have made him paranoid. one says he felt he was a target, that people were coming after him.
>> the combination of those drugs, depending on the long-term use of the drugs, and the amount of drugs, can cause someone to become violent, could cause someone to become very paranoid, could cause someone to overreact to a situation, appear to be more impulsive. >> that kind of behavior doesn't describe the aaron hernandez many remember growing up in bristol, connecticut, where his family was celebrated as a local sports dynasty. >> i don't think there was another family that is more familiar in bristol. aaron was our golden boy. he had the family traits. his father and uncle were stand-out athletes. >> his older brother d.j. was a sports hero too. bob montgomery covers high school sports for the bristol press.
♪ >> aaron did track, football and basketball. he was described in any sport he played as -- >> brand mcmillan and andrew played basketball with aaron beginning in middle school. >> he was twice the size of me. we had the same height, but he was just more athletic obviously. he practiced like all the time. >> practiced because his father dennis pushed him constantly. >> his father was pretty strict. he told me his father used to make him shoot 500 shots before he went sometimes to play with his friends. his dad clearly kept him anchored. >> i saw a closeness with them that i had never seen before. it was something about dennis and the way they intertwined. it was just magic in my eyes. >> but in a heart beat, that closeness is gone. >> i was sitting in class with another teammate, the phone rang, went to pick up the phone, she said you need to go up to
the coach's room. coach walks in and he says dennis has passed away. dennis hernandez, aaron's father, his anchor, dies after routine hernia surgery. it hit 16-year-old aaron hard. >> he was just sad. couldn't stop the tears. >> felt uncomfortable to see him so hurt. i felt bad for him. >> that father-son relationship comes up in conversations with thomas hodgson who runs the jail where hernandez was held for a year before being moved. >> clearly at 16 years old, losing your father, it would be very easy to fall into the lifestyle of following people that don't help you make the best choices. >> one choice he makes is to tattoo some of his dad's advice on his arms. >> it's a quote my father always used to give me. if it is to be, it is up to me.
basically saying, whatever i want my life to be, it's up to me to make it out that way. >> when it comes time to make his college pick, not even his brother d.j. can get aaron to join them where their dad played, the university of connecticut. >> at first, he wouldn't even talk to me. but there was days, he said, like, it's our dream to play together. come on, please. >> but aaron stands firm, believing his football career will soar in gator country. coming up, a promising college career overshadowed by trouble off the field. imagine if razors could move up and down, and all around.
with the man who kept him grounded now gone, aaron hernandez takes a pass on his father's school, the university of connecticut. cutting his high school senior year in half, he goes to the university of florida. >> i was bummed he would not be on our basketball team. >> in february 2007 he joins the gators and star quarterback tim tebow. by april, still long before the gators season opener, there's trouble off the field. the rookie teen loses his cool at this popular, off-campus restaurant. there's an argument between aaron hernandez and the manager over a bill. tim tebow tries to calm things
down and settle the check, but according to this police report, it all ends with aaron hernandez sucker punching the manager on the left side of his head, bursting an eardrum. >> the manager later tells police, university of florida coaches and lawyers have contacted him and they're working on an agreement. a university spokesman says they're not aware of any settlement. five months later in september, there's more trouble. this time, a shooting near the university. it begins with young men snatching gold neck chains at a local club. there's an argument in the parking lot across the street. police report several uf football players are involved, including hernandez. >> i know hernandez was there. it was trouble. it was loud. >> the suspected chain snatchers get into this man's car. his name is cory. and doesn't want his face shown
for fear of retribution. >> can you point out roughly where it was? >> moments after leaving the club, someone fires into cory's crown vic, hitting him in the head. >> can you tell me and show me, where is it that that bullet went? it came right about there? >> i can't imagine what he would have felt that night. >> cory's aunt stephanie remembers he nearly died. >> heart stopped a couple times. >> they had to take half my skull to get the bullet out. i was in rehab and they helped me to walk again and talk again. >> police interview more than 20 people and they try to question hernandez, but he's the only one who doesn't make a statement after invoking his right to counsel. at the time, his mother terry hernandez, tells the "orlando
sentinel," i know he was at the club, but he never saw any shooting. it's still an open case. no one's ever been charged. both cory and his aunt stephanie have been trying to get to the truth for seven years. >> you've done a lot to try to get to the heart of what happened. what about going to the university of florida? >> i tried it. i was just told that they would put the guys on curfew so that they could, i guess, lessen their activities in clubs and things of that nature. i would have liked to have seen some more in-depth questioning of those football players. >> citing privacy laws, the university of florida won't discuss specifics of how players are disciplined. was hernandez on a slippery slope? he was tearing up the field as a gator. but some who knew him were worried. especially when he was unsupervised away from the game. if you could keep him on one side, he'd be fine, one source
put it. the problem was, he couldn't stay away from the other side, adding, it was a recipe for disaster. and it was a recipe that included marijuana. hernandez was suspended at least once for using the drug. it's an issue that follows him when he enters the draft his junior year. >> teams spend a lot of time on background checks, hiring private investigators, to be sure that this is somebody who will enter the nfl and stay out of trouble. >> i played 13 years. >> former patriot running back, kevin faulk, says the checks are thorough and intensive. >> and how far back do they go? >> if you done something in middle school, they're going to go back and find somebody that was around that time and ask them. >> trying to head off trouble before the draft, hernandez goes on the offensive, writing a letter to the patriots' director
of personnel. if you draft me, as a member of the new england patriots, he wrote, i will willfully submit to a biweekly drug test throughout my rookie season. >> day 3, round 4 -- >> prior to the draft, aaron hernandez was projected as a player that could be a first-round pick and no later than a second-round pick. >> now with another selection, they go aaron hernandez. >> he ends up the 113th pick, passed over until the fourth round. >> i have to believe that him falling so far is more than just a story about marijuana, that there were questions raised in background checks about him that caused teams to say, we're going to downgrade him on our draft board. >> but during his first year with the patriots, he proves himself. >> there were questions that, oh, he's too young to be in the league, he's not figure to be able to get belichick's system. he was able to debunk those, by having a solid season.
>> tight end in a receiver body that could play running back, that could return punts, return kicks. >> that talent gets the 22-year-old a five-year, $40 million extension. >> you can't come here and act reckless and do your own stuff. i acted the way i wanted to act, but you get changed by bill belichick's way. >> what no one knew at the time, one month before he signs that deal, the football player parties at a boston club. that night, two young men are shot and killed after leaving that same club, by a man driving a silver suv. is there a connection? olay regenerist. it regenerates surface cells. new skin is revealed in only 5 days. without drastic measures. stunningly youthful. award-winning skin. from the world's #1. olay, your best beautiful cu...favorite book is nice.. but i think women would rather
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it's a silver suv, but in the life of aaron hernandez, it's much more. while searching his cousin's home for clues in odin lloyd's murder, police stumble on a toyota four-runner. it's in a garage and it belongs to a leasing company who loaned it to the patriot tight end in exchange for promotional work. for a year, boston police have been looking for an suv linked to an unsolved double murder. this appears to be it.
>> how difficult has this loss been for you, sir, as a father? um -- >> his son daniel was killed in that drive-by shooting outside a boston nightclub, along with his friend safiro furtado on july 16th, 2012. witnesses say, two men in a silver suv with rhode island plates pulls alongside the car, shots are fired. finding that suv and other tips leads to a stunning discovery. aaron hernandez, seen on security video, police say, with another man, following furtado into that nightclub and stalking
them in a silver suv after they leave. almost a year after he's charged with odin lloyd's murder -- >> aaron hernandez, please rise. >> -- aaron hernandez is indicted for the murders of those two young men. >> how do you plead in this indictment? >> not guilty. >> the defendant leaned out of the driver's side window of the suv, with a loaded revolver in his hand, extended out, the defendant immediately fired at least five rounds from a 38 caliber resolver into the victims' car. >> but why? >> daniel de abreu bumped into the defendant, causing the defendant's drink to spill. >> the motive, prosecutors say, is nothing more than a spilled drink by a complete stranger. >> the defendant told his friend that mr. de abreu had deliberately bumped him and was, quote, trying him. >> court documents identify the friend with hernandez that night
as alexander bradley, the same alexander bradley who says hernandez later shot out his right eye, because the football player felt disrespected during an argument over a cell phone. all leading to a key question, do those two violent acts suggest a dangerous pattern of behavior driven by paranoia? cnn has learned prosecutors believe that behavior is what led to odin lloyd's murder. a source with knowledge of the investigation says the night they were at this club, hernandez gets angry when he sees lloyd talking with two men. and angry again later at an apartment he rents. it's unclear whether there was another tipping point. possibly, prosecutors say, hernandez was mad at himself for telling lloyd about the double murder. >> motive does not have to be proven under the law. >> jared leoni is a former massachusetts district attorney and federal prosecutor.
>> juries like motive, they want to know why someone did something, especially when they've done something that's alleged to have been as heinous as this one. >> a motive, no matter how trivial, would make the state's case stronger. prosecutors have already bolstered the case by upgrading the charges against co-defendants ortiz and wallace to murder. >> how do you plead? >> not guilty. >> not guilty. >> charging of carlos ortiz and ernest wallace for murder really signals that this will be what's called a joint venture murder prosecution, where anyone who actively participates in the murder, can be held guilty for the murder. >> that would mean hernandez could be convicted of murder even if prosecutors can't prove he fired the gun. but none of this makes the case rock solid. it still has holes.
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talking to my son in the ground, you know. >> at every pretrial hearing, she's surrounded by family, hangs on every word. >> and after 18 months of waiting, the justice she seeks may finally be around the corner. hernandez's trial is under way. for more than a year, sheriff thomas hodgson was in charge of keeping an eye on hernandez. >> i've talked to him at length. there's a warmth within this person.
while partying late up with night, he is calling and texts carlos ortiz and ernst wallace, summoning them. >> the text says hurry your ass up. >> at about the same time, he is texting lloyd to arrange a meeting. >> i'm coming to grab that tonight. you gon be around. >> lloyd agrees and says all right, where. they are arriving at hernandez's home. when hernandez returns around 1:00 a.m., video shows him inside, walking around his house, with what appears to be a gun. >> you begin to see the outline
of a firearm. >> at 1:12 a.m., the men drive away in a rented nissan altima. at 2:10 a.m., they're heading towards odin lloyd's house when they stop at a gas station. >> they asked for gun and black and mild cigars. >> outside were hernandez is seen pumping his arms in the air, apparently feeling good. about 20 minutes later, right after a black cat crosses the street, odin sister sees an altima pull up in front of their home. >> what did you see? >> the car stopped? >> did your brother get in the
car? >> yes. >> cell towers track the krcar it goes through a toll plaza. at 3:22 a.m., lloyd's sister gets a final message from him saying he is with nfl just so you know. but the jury never sees or hears that message. >> a text message fm the number you recognize your brother, a text came back to you yes or no? >> yes. >> the judge bars the details. saying it is not proof he knew he was going to die. >> i heard a loud bang, maybe four or five times.
>> it was six or eight loud sounds. >> hernandez's home is just a half mile from the murder scene. at 3:29, the altima pulls up in hernandez's drive way. jurors see video of the kram seen and odin lloyd's bullet retiled body. experts testify that a blunt found near lloyd's body has dna from lloyd and hernandez. >> so the dna profile came as a mixture of at least two individuals. >> an investigator testifies that impressions he made of the altima's tires match tracks
found at the scene. >> the inside of the car contains prints from all four men. after hernandez returns the rented altima, the afternoon of the murder, the manager on duty makes a startling discovery. >> i found chewed blue gum, and i saw what i thought was a bullet. >> that is the type of gum purchased by hernandez hours earlier. and it's not a bullet she finds, but a shell casing. a ballistic's expert testified that casing matches five others found at the murder scene. >> they were fired from the same weapon. >> did you have an opinion as to the type of weapon it was? >> it is consistent with having been fired from a glock.
>> that's the type of gun that an employee says he is carrying when he returns home minutes after the murder. >> in my opinion, the firearm shown in the video stills is a glock pistol. >> the murder weapon, the one that prosecutors say is in his hands that night, has never been found. they suspect it is in a position inside this black trashbag and that hernandez's fiance got rid of it after getting a coded message from him. she is accused of lying to a grand jury about her actions that day and has pleaded not guilty. ahead, the defense chews holes in the state's theory of the case. >> nobody measured it? you eyeballed it?
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it is not as bad now that i'm not playing. >> kevin faulk's old teammate, aaron hernandez, is on trial for murder. >> i want to tell him that he has somebody on his side that is praying for him. >> prosecutors a saying that he executed the execution of someone. >> you're not going to make me believe he is a monster because you use those type of words. >> not even two more murder charges in the so-called spilled drink case have changed faulk's
opinion. >> i don't want him to do it. if you want me to say no, no i don't think he did it. at the same time anyone can be pushed to do something drastic like that. >> as we sit here today. >> his friend is getting a solid defense inside court, too. >> he is an innocent man. >> his lawyers win a quart badle to keep bradley from testifying that hernandez shot out his right eye. they also bar speaking about his trial for a double murder. >> the investigation was sloppy and unprofessional. >> during nearly every cross-examinati cross-examination, his defense attorneys tried to raise reasonable doubt by questioning the confidence of investigators. >> as an experienced police
officer, you know there could be dn args dna on that towel? >> yes. >> nobody measured it, right? >> nobody measured it. >> you eyeballed is, is that what you're telling us? >> yes. >> and they challenge the way they collected gum and shell casings from a dumpster. >> did sergeant baker climb in the dumpster in. >> yes, he did. >> and he started throwing stuff from the dumpster into the bed of his pickup truck. >> it was being handed out and placed -- >> has anyone every taught you to collect evidence that way, sir? >> no. >> the gum and casing were found clumped together in a piece of paper, but that's not how they were tested. >> were you ever told that the
casing had been attached to a piece of chewed bubble gum? >> they found a partial match, but she never tested the gum. >> would you agree that there is a high likelihood that the dna on the chewed blue chewing gum would be transferred to that shell casing that is attached? >> objection. >> overruled. >> yes, i would agree with that. >> remember the glock employee that positively identified the item in his hand as a glock. they did their best to hurt his
testimony. >> did the prosecution want you to say that the object in those grainy videos say that was a handgun and it was a glock? >> yes, it is my opinion that is what they were hoping for? >> would it help convict aaron hernandez if you testify that what is in his hand, in your opinion, is a block? >> they show a blowing object in his left hand suggesting it could be a ipad, or a soft pellet gun. investigators believe that glock was used to murder odin lloyd, but they never found it.
another thing they never found? these sneakers. police photographed them in hernandez's basement in 2013. they say a shoe impression found near odin lloyd's body is consistent with the sneakers. investigators didn't take the shoes. >> i think odds are hernandez will be convicted, but it is not a slam dunk case. there is still no gun. >> days after what would have been odin lloyd's 28th birthday, family and friends gather at number 53s headstone. >> he was the love of my life.
>> in loving memory of odin lloyd. our son, or brother, amen. >> and you still talk to him? >> yeah. >> what do you say? >> no matter what the outcome is, we still lose at the end of the day even if you get justice. do you really come out a winner? i don't think so. >> do you think there is a chance that aaron hernandez may be found not guilty? that's my biggest fear. all it takes is one juror.
the following is a cnn special report. for two years, the bodies of black children had been found in the woods, then the rivers of atlanta, georgia. in all, more than two dozen victims, most of them strangled. by may, 1981, the police and fbi were hiding in the brush beside and below the river bridges. this was to be the last night, almost the last hour. >> i heard the splash. >> bob campbell, a police recruit, jumped to his feet down beside the chattahoochee river. >> i was rea