FALL RIVER, Mass. — Former National Football League star Aaron Hernandez texted a friend to “hurry” in the hours before prosecutors say the pair and another man murdered an associate in an industrial park in 2013, according to testimony on Friday.
Ricardo Leal, a records custodian for Sprint Telecommunications, identified text messages between Hernandez and Ernest Wallace in records and read them aloud from Hernandez’s Blackberry phone, which prosecutors showed in court.
Hernandez, 25, a former tight end for the New England Patriots, is accused of murdering Odin Lloyd, a semiprofessional football player who was dating his fiancée’s sister. It is the first of two murder trials he faces this year.
Prosecutors have said Hernandez, Wallace and another man, Carlos Ortiz, picked up Lloyd at his Boston home and drove him in a rented Nissan Altima to an industrial park near Hernandez’s house in North Attleborough, Massachusetts, early on June 17, 2013. Lloyd’s bullet-riddled body was found by a jogger at the industrial park later that day.
Leal, the Sprint employee, went through the phone records for Hernandez and Wallace, who was identified on Hernandez’s phone by the nickname “Fish 2.”
On the night of June 16, 2013, hours before Lloyd’s death, when witnesses say Hernandez was at a Rhode Island restaurant, Hernandez texted Wallace to hurry up, to which Wallace responded, “K.”
Several days before Lloyd’s murder, on June 11, Hernandez wrote to Wallace, “U grab everything out of car … clip and cds and everything”. Wallace responded, “Yes Sir”.
In another text days before the murder, Hernandez told Wallace, “I wanted to kill u but u kno I love u”, according to the testimony.
Leal said the phone records showed more texts than were currently on Hernandez’s phone, but did not explain the discrepancy. Records also showed calls between the numbers of Wallace and Lloyd before Lloyd was allegedly picked up, according to the testimony.
Hernandez had a $41 million contract with the Patriots when he was cut from the team after being charged with Lloyd’s murder. Wallace and Ortiz will be tried separately. All three men have pleaded not guilty.
Hernandez will face a second murder trial later this year for allegedly killing two Cape Verdean men outside a Boston nightclub in 2012.