Thursday, September 21, 2023
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Tears in Aaron Hernandez Trial|as Murder Scene Details Emerge

FALL RIVER, Mass. (CN) - The woman whose boyfriend may have died at the hand of former NFL star Aaron Hernandez testified Friday that the men were far from friends.

Shaneah Jenkins was the last witness called to the stand Friday, before proceedings broke for the weekend in which Hernandez's former team, the New England Patriots, will take on the Seattle Seahawks at the Super Bowl.

Hernandez has been held without bail since his arrest in June 2013 for the murder that month of Jenkins' boyfriend, Odin Lloyd.

A football player like Hernandez, 27-year-old Lloyd played semipro for the Boston Bandits.

The two met through Jenkins and her sister, Shayanna, who is engaged to Hernandez.

Though Hernandez's defense attorney tried in his opening statement to portray the men as buddies, future brothers-in-law, Jenkins said the relationship was merely "cordial," "the beginning stages of a friendship."

Except for the weekend Lloyd was killed, the two men did not spend time together without her there, said Jenkins, who is in her second year at New England Law School.

The couple had been dating 18 months before Lloyd was killed, Jenkins said.

She described a budding love affair. They met when she was working the front desk at a Comfort Suites in Connecticut as an undergrad.

Lloyd, who lived in Massachusetts, would stay a few nights a week for work. The bi-state couple saw each other with increasing frequency and had plans on the horizon to move into together, Jenkins said.

Though totally collected on the witness stand, the aspiring criminal lawyer clutched tissues and shielded her brow with her left hand earlier in proceedings Friday during testimony from Capt. John White of the North Attleboro Fire Department.

As White testified about responding to the 911 call from the locals who found Lloyd's bullet-ridden body, the prosecution showed pictures of the scene, an industrial park just a mile from Hernandez's mansion.

Before the pictures appeared on the screen, Judge E. Susan Garsh instructed the jurors to not let their emotions guide their opinions.

"These photographs are being introduced solely for the purpose so you can see the position of the body or any visible wounds," Garsh said. "Please put aside any emotions or sympathy they may generate."

Lloyd's mother, Ursula Ward, began to cry as the photos of Lloyd, lying face up in an empty sand lot, appeared. She looked somber but elegant in her vibrant orange blazer with large white pearls circling her neck.

Lloyd was wearing a red, white and blue plaid button-down shirt, blue jacket, and light jeans. A red hat lay haphazardly a few feet away above his head. His left hand rested on his chest, fingers curled into a loose ball. His outstretched right arm faced palm up; his legs, slightly parted and splayfooted.

Eventually, Ward, overcome with grief, left the courtroom.

Also on the stand Friday, the second day of Hernandez's trial, were two men from Advanced Electronic Design, a business by the industrial park.

Matthew Kent, the high school freshman who testified Thursday about being the first to find Lloyd's body, stumbled into Advanced Electronic Design after his discovery.

The business's owner, David Swithers, offered gruesome details about the scene.

"He was stiff and motionless," Swithers said of Lloyd. "There were flies around his nostrils."

Proceedings resume Monday, weather permitting, with Shaneah Jenkins back on the witness stand.

Before recessing for the weekend, Judge Garsh said the jurors were allowed to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday.

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