New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft testified in court on March 31 and said his former tight end, Aaron Hernandez, told him he did not murder Odin Lloyd.
Bob Kraft testified in court on March 31 and said Aaron Hernandez told him he's innocent.
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According to a March 31 ESPN Boston update, Kraft, the New England Patriots owner, took the stand for half an hour at the Fall River Justice Center at the request of the prosecution. Kraft discussed the events of June 19, 2013-- two days after authorities discovered the body of murdered semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd.
Kraft said plenty of media members were already on hand at the Patriots' Gillette Stadium, including helicopters hovering above. He then sought out Hernandez, who was working out in the weight room, for a talk in a nearby office, per ESPN Boston:
"I understood there was an incident that transpired, and I wanted to know whether he was involved, and if he was--any player that comes into our system, I consider part of our extended family, and I wanted to get him help.
"He said he was not involved. That he was innocent and that he hoped that the time of the murder incident came out because he said he was in a club."
CNN's Jason Hanna says Kraft testified that Hernandez had hoped the time of Lloyd's murder would "come out" as the then-Patriots tight end claimed he was out at a club on the night of June 17.
However, Hernandez's fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins, refuted his claim in her own testimony. She said Hernandez was with her and their friends on the night of the shooting, per CNN.
Kraft told jurors his conversation with Hernandez lasted five to ten minutes. The ESPN Boston update states the Patriots owner ran into Hernandez one last time on June 19 at Gillette Stadium after their office conversation.
At that moment, Hernandez hugged and kissed Kraft, per ESPN Boston.
Hernandez signed a $40 million deal with New England in 2012. When Hernandez's laywer, Michael Fee, questioned Kraft, the Patriots owner couldn't remember if this particular contract ran through the 2018 NFL season, the ESPN Boston report goes on to say.
"I don't get into the details," Kraft told ESPN Boston. "I just knew we signed him." Kraft also labeled Hernandez as "a very good player."
Witnesses overheard Kraft saying "It's very sad" as he left the courthouse on Tuesday, per ESPN Boston. He also said he sympathized with Lloyd's family.
Both the ESPN Boston and CNN reports indicate Kraft was "uncomfortable" as he testified before a grand jury on Tuesday.
When Bristol County District Attorney William McCauley asked Kraft where he worked, the latter said, "1 Patriot Place" (the address of Gillette Stadium). McCauley then asked what Kraft does at work, he said,"Whatever they ask me to do," per ESPN Boston.
Gillette Stadium head of security Mark Briggs also testified on Tuesday, telling the jury he asked Hernandez if he was telling the truth about Lloyd, per CNN. "He swore on the baby's life that he was telling the truth," Briggs said.
CNN legal analyst Mel Robbins told Hanna she thinks Kraft's testimony is "explosive":
"What a great, great witness for the prosecution. Basically what happened is Aaron Hernandez lied to his boss. And the only way you can rebut it is if you put him on the stand."
Hernandez has been indicted with Lloyd's June 17, 2013 murder. Back then, Lloyd had been dating Jenkins' sister, per ESPN Boston.
In a separate ESPN Boston update, Alexander Bradley, the man Hernandez allegedly shot outside a Miami bar months before Lloyd's murder, will take the stand on Wednesday, April 1. Bradley lost an eye as a result of the shooting.
Hernandez's trial began on Jan. 29 and is expected to wrap up by next week. It was previously foreseen to last anywhere between six to 10 weeks, per ESPN Boston.
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