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The Downward Spiral: The Case Against Aaron Hernandez

Aired April 15, 2015 - 21:00   ET


SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN SPECIAL REPORT HOST: Tonight, Aaron Hernandez, he was a rising NFL star racing toward greatness.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's the meaning on your forearm?

AARON HERNANDEZ, FORMER NFL STAR: If it is to be, it is up to me. Basically, I'm saying that my life is in my hand, wherever I want my life to be, it's up me to make it out that way.

CANDIOTTI: And what did he make his life to be. 12 Massachusetts jurors made to decide. Was he a bystander or a brutal murderer? After hearing the evidence, finally the answer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What say you have in court person?

CANDIOTTI: Downward Spiral, Inside the Case Against Aaron Hernandez.

It's a spring time Saturday in New England Patriot country, a perfect day for football.

MIKE BRANCH, BOSTON BANDITS COACH: You wake up and your adrenaline is on.

One, two, three.

A block down and a pull.

CANDIOTTI: Mike Branch coaches the Boston Bandits, a semi pro-team. He remembers another day just like this, June 15th 2013. Something seemed out of place.

BRANCH: A black, suburban pulls like right up on my car. Like who's pulling right in front of my car?

CANDIOTTI: In the driver seat, Bandit defensive end, 27-year-old Odin Lloyd.

BRANCH: Then I see a smile, "Coach."

CANDIOTTI: Branch thinks it's odd because Lloyd doesn't own a car.

BRANCH: I'm like, "Whose car is this?"

CANDIOTTI: Branch has his suspicions, but he never gets a straight answer. Lloyd is busy telling his buddies about the good time he had at a club the night before.

BRANCH: All he say, he was at the club with Mr. Hernandez, and they were partying, and he had a good time.

CANDIOTTI: Mr. Hernandez is Aaron Hernandez, a $40 million rising star with the New England Patriots.

Odin Lloyd's best buddies, Darryl Hodge and Daryl Sweet, say their friend wasn't normally a big partier, they know a different side of him. The friend they described was passionate about football.

DARRYL HODGE, ODIN'S FRIEND: The whistle blows, he's coming in full throttle.

CANDIOTTI: And family.

DARYL SWEET, ODIN'S FRIEND: He definitely always took care of his mom and his sisters.

OLIVIA THIBOU, ODIN LLOYD'S SISTER: My brother and I were kind of like, I wouldn't say best friends, but you know, as close as siblings can get.

BRANCH: In and out, inside box.

CANDIOTTI: Branch, who also coached Lloyd in high school, didn't hesitate to give him advice as an adult and an occasional reality check.

BRANCH: 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 is start preparing myself a life and...

CANDIOTTI: He says Lloyd was doing landscaping while figuring out "what next?"

BRANCH: I spoken to him about you know, taking firefighter test.

CANDIOTTI: Lloyd also began dating college student Shanea 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?

HODGE: They're dating sisters.

CANDIOTTI: Shanea Jenkins is the younger sister of Shayanna who's 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 hang out together?

HODGE: Really, just two different worlds. But he had one world, we got our world.

ODIN LLOYD: I'm just checking out my new camera. CANDIOTTI: On Sunday, June 16th, Father's Day 2013, Odin Lloyd is

cruising with his friends in that mysterious Black Suburban.

SWEET: We had the music playing, you know, you're enchanted to the music and stuff.

HODGE: We're laughing and we're talking and Odin, he's driving, he got the one hand type driving, like he's just having fun. Later when we went to aunt's house, he was playing pool.

Put it on the table. Over the ball.

I've seen Odin made one of the most spectacular shots I've ever seen.

Yeah, there's no chance in hell.

CANDIOTTI: It was a good day?

SWEET: Oh it was a great day.

LLOYD: You got that? I hope you all got that.

HODGE: A great day.

CANDIOTTI: And it was coming to an end, after Lloyd got a text from his job saying he had to work the next morning.

[21:05:07] HODGE: Then he got another text, asking him to hang out.

CANDIOTTI: A text from Hernandez.

HODGE: In the text, alluded to just, "let's have another great night."

CANDIOTTI: I take that there was a part of you that thought, "Man, you got to go to work the next day..."

HODGE: Go home, rest. I was like. "It's already like nine and nine- ish."

CANDIOTTI: So when you guys left each other, what do you remember saying to him?

HODGE: I'm going to see you later.

CANDIOTTI: Little did he know, there would be no later. The next night, Monday June 17, 5:37 p. m., Lloyd's body is discovered by a jogger in North Attenborough, 35 miles south of where he lives.

Here at the crime scene, investigators find Odin Lloyd's wallet, his driver's license and a five 45 caliber shell casings. They suspect he was first shot in the back and then finished off as he was lying face up in this secluded area of an industrial park.

Darryl Hodge learns of the murder from Lloyd's sister Olivia who calls him. HODGE: I can hear it.

CANDIOTTI: Did she say he's dead?

HODGE: In between the cries and the bawling, "Darryl, Odin is dead." I'm like, "Olivia, I'll be there in a minute." I got to the house, I got inside, you know, like...

CANDIOTTI: And you saw his mom? What did she say?

HODGE: "Darryl, who killed my son?" What do you say to that? I mean, like I fell to my knees, gave her a hug, I wrapped my hand around her head and I was like, "Mom, I don't know." I said, "I don't know."

CANDIOTTI: That night was tough for Daryl Sweet, who was also at Lloyd's home.

SWEET: I was going back and I'm going to stay in my car.

CANDIOTTI: What were the questions in your head?

SWEET: Who was he with? I didn't know. Who he possibly could have been with until I got the news about Shaquilla's text.

CANDIOTTI: Shaquilla is Lloyd's youngest sister. She had sees him picked up from their house and driven away earlier that night. Just before Lloyd dies, police say, he send Shaquilla chilling text messages. At 3:07 a.m., Lloyd asks, "You saw who I'm with?" At 3:11, he checks in again, texting, "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."

HODGE: If you got (inaudible) it was someone is going down.

CANDIOTTI: But what was going down, and why?

Still ahead, will the jury ever see that final text? Not if the defense can help it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These messages do not suggest fear that the government wants to put a much more sinister task on them.


CANDIOTTI: For Darryl Hodge, going to the gym means lifting weights. But he's also carrying one, trying to understand why someone killed his best friend, Odin Lloyd.

HODGE: I should still be lifting with my bro. He's still be trying to dunk.

CANDIOTTI: After a jogger finds Odin Lloyd's bullet-riddled body, police quickly find their first pieces of evidence, distinctive tire tracks, Lloyd's cellphone, and keys for that black Suburban he'd been driving all weekend. Police quickly learned it was rented by New England Patriot, Aaron Hernandez.

Over the next several days, investigators searched his home and cars, removing bags of possible evidence.

June 26th 2013, nine days after the murder of Odin Lloyd, Hernandez is arrested.

The charges, first degree premeditated murder, illegal weapons and ammo charges. His plea.

HERNANDEZ: Not guilty.

CANDIOTTI: And he's no longer a New England Patriot.

BILL BELICHICK, HEAD COACH NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: I and other members of the organization were shocked and disappointed.

CANDIOTTI: Hernandez is canned before he reaches the courthouse.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hernandez is charged a very serious crime, but that shouldn't be enough to hold him without bail.

CANDIOTTI: And he's staying in jail. His attempts at bail, denied.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think the commonwealth has presented a case that's circumstantial to be sure, but very, very strong.

CANDIOTTI: As Aaron Hernandez adjust to life behind bars, charged with murder, yet another accusation of gun violence makes headlines. Four months before Odin Lloyd is gunned down, the football player is at Tootsie's strip club in Miami. A law enforcement source says Hernandez drops about 10 grand that night. One of the men he's with, Alexander Bradley. Prosecutors described 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 wrist band from the club.

[21:15:00] Police retrieved this bullet fragment from his head but Bradley won't give them any details.

MICHAEL MCCANN, LEGAL ANALYST AND WRITER, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED: When the police investigated this incident, Alexander Bradley didn't point a finger at Hernandez.

CANDIOTTI: That changes when Bradley sues claiming Aaron Hernandez caused him his right eye. Bradley later tells prosecutors he was shot after Hernandez felt disrespected during an argument over a missing cellphone.

After Bradley is shot, prosecutors say Hernandez gets a new right hand man, Ernest Wallace.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This defendant is more commonly known by his nickname which is "Hobo." CANDIOTTI: Or Bo. Wallace has a long criminal history. Prosecutors say he sells and uses drugs, including the hallucinogen angel dust or PCP. He's not the only one.

Sources tell CNN Aaron Hernandez also smoked a lot of pot, one calling it a boat load.

Prosecutor say that tight-end would give Odin Lloyd money to buy him marijuana. CNN first revealed this photograph last year. it's a stock blunt (ph). Prosecutor say Lloyd made them with marijuana, supplied by Hernandez. Sources tell CNN, Aaron Hernandez also used angle dust. And that could have made him paranoid.

One says, he felt he was a target. That people were coming after him.

MARY ELLEN O'TOOLE, FORMER FBI: Combination of those drugs depending on the long term use of the drugs and the amount of drugs could cause someone to become violent, could cause someone to become very paranoid, could cause someone to over react to a situation, appear to be more impulsive.

CANDIOTTI: 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.

BOB MONTGOMERY, THE BRISTOL PRESS: I don't think there was another family that was more familiar in Bristol. Aaron was our "golden boy." He had the family traits. His father and his uncle were standout athletes.

CANDIOTTI: His older brother D.J. was a sports hero too. Bob Montgomery covers high school sports for the Bristol Press.

MONTGOMERY: Aaron did track, in addition to football, he also did basketball. He was described in any sport he played as the man playing with children.

Brad McMillan and Andrew Ragali played basketball with Aaron beginning in middle school.

ANDREW RAGALI: He was twice the size of me. We're really at the same height but he was just more athletic, obviously, and I mean, he practice like all the time.

CANDIOTTI: Practiced because his father Dennis pushed him constantly.

SHERIFF THOMAS HODGSON, BRISTOL COUNTY: His father was pretty strict. I mean, he told me his father used to make him to shoot 500 shots before he went sometimes to play with his friends. His dad clearly kept him anchored.

MONTGOMERY: I saw a closeness with them that I have never seen before. There was something about Dennis and Aaron, the way they intertwined. It was just -- it was magic to my eyes.

CANDIOTTI: Just ahead, in a heartbeat, that closeness is gone. And Aaron Hernandez changes his game plan.


CANDIOTTI: As a junior in high school, Aaron Hernandez is a sports hero. Airing up the football field, track and the basketball court. But then the 16 year old's world, crumbles.

MCMILLAN: The Coach walks in and he says, "Dennis has passed away."

CANDIOTTI: Dennis Hernandez, Aaron's father, his anchor, dies after routine hernia surgery.

MCMILLAN: He was just sad. He can't stop the tears.

RAGALI: I felt uncomfortable just to see him so hurt. I felt bad for him.

CANDIOTTI: That father-son relationship comes up in conversations with Sheriff Thomas Hodgson who runs the jail where Hernandez is being held.

HODGSON: 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.

CANDIOTTI: One choice he makes is to tattoo some of his dad's advice on his arms.

HERNANDEZ: That'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.

CANDIOTTI: When it comes time to make his way to college, Aaron Hernandez takes a pass on his father's school, the University of Connecticut. Despite pleas from his brother D.J. who plays there.

D.J. HERNANDEZ, AARON'S BROTHER: At first, he wouldn't even talk to me, but there's days he's saying like, "It's our dream to play together. Come on, please."

CANDIOTTI: But Aaron stands firm believing his football career will soar in Gator Country.

In January 2007, he cuts his high school senior year in half and heads to the University of Florida, joins star quarterback team 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 settled 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.

[21:25:04] A university spokesman says they are not aware of any settlement.

Was Hernandez on a slippery slop? 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 follow him when he enters the draft, his junior year.

MCCANN: Teams spend a lot of time on background checks.

CANDIOTTI: Former Patriots' running back Kevin Faulk says the checks are thorough and intensive.

KEVIN FAULK, FORMER TEAMMATE: If he done something in middle school, they are going to go back and find somebody that was around that time of accident.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Day three, round four.

MCCANN: 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.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And now with another selection, they go Aaron Hernandez.

CANDIOTTI: He ends the 113th pick passed over until the fourth round.

MCCANN: I have to believe that him falling so far is more than just a story about marijuana, that there were questions raised and background checks about him that caused teams say, "We're going to downgrade him on our draft board."

CANDIOTTI: But during his first year with the Patriots, he proves himself.

FAULK: Tight end and a receiver body, that could play running back, that could return a punts, return kicks.

CANDIOTTI: That challenge gets the 22-year-old a five year $40 million extension.

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?


CANDIOTTI: It's a silver SUV, but in the life of Aaron Hernandez, it's much more. In June of 2013, while searching his cousin's home for clues in Odin Lloyd's murder, police stumbled on a Toyota 4Runner. It's in a garage and it belongs to a leasing company who loaned it to the Patriot's 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?

Ernesto Abreu's son Daniel was killed in that drive by shooting outside of Boston night club along with his friend Safiro Furtado on July 16, 2012. Witnesses say two men in a silver SUV with Rhode Island plates pulls alongside Abreu's 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 Abreu and Furtado into that night club and stalking them in a silver SUV after they leave.

Almost a year after he's charged with Odin Lloyd's murder.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Aaron Hernandez please rise.

CANDIOTTI: Aaron Hernandez is indicted for the murders of those two young men.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you plead this indictment?

HERNANDEZ: Not guilty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 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 revolver into the victim's car.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Daniel de Abreu while dancing nearby accidentally bumped into the defendant, causing the defendant's drink to partially spilled.

CANDIOTTI: The motive, prosecutor say, is nothing more than a spilled drink by a complete stranger.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The defendant told his friend that Mr. de Abreu had deliberately bumped him and was "trying him."

CANDIOTTI: Court documents identify the friend with Hernandez that night as Alexander Bradley, the same Alexander Bradley who says Hernandez later shot out of his right eye because the football player felt disrespected during an argument over a cellphone.

All leading to a key question, do those two violent acts suggest a dangerous pattern of behavior driven by paranoia.

Being able to explain Hernandez's behavior that night could help the prosecutors at trial. Eight months into the case, prosecutors bolstered it by upgrading the charges against the two men with Hernandez, the night Odin Lloyd is killed.

Ernest Wallace and another man, Carlos Ortiz.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you plead?


MCCANN: This would be what's called a joint venture murder prosecution, where anyone who actively participates in the murder can be held guilty for the murder.

CANDIOTTI: That would mean Hernandez could be convicted of murder even if prosecutors can't prove he fired the gun.

Ahead, video tape, tire tracks, gun shells, but no gun.

[21:35:00] Aaron Hernandez's first murder trial begins.


CANDIOTTI: For Odin Lloyd's mother, Ursula Ward, everyday is a struggle.

URSULA WARD, ODIN LLOYD'S MOTHER: Hey handsome. Mommy is here to see you again. I love you. I miss you so much sweetie.

I never thought having talking to my son in the ground, you know.

CANDIOTTI: She attends every pre-trial hearing, hangs on every word. And on January 29th 2015. More than 19 months after her son's murder...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, on June 16th of 2013...

CANDIOTTI: Ursula Ward is front and center when Aaron Hernandez goes on trial. Across the aisle, the football player's mom, Terri Hernandez.

[21:40:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Commonwealth has been approved. You, the defendant committed the crime of murder.

CANDIOTTI: The state says Aaron Hernandez's murder plot is in full swing as he gets high and leaves to get drinks on the evening of June 16th 2013.




CANDIOTTI: While partying with his fiancee and friends Aaron Hernandez is calling and texting co-defendants Carlos Ortiz and Ernest Wallace summoning them from Connecticut to Massachusetts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was the text that we're looking at. It says, Hurry your ass up."


CANDIOTTI: At about the same time, he's texting Lloyd to arrange a meeting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm coming to grab that tonight. You're going to be around?

CANDIOTTI: Lloyd agrees to meet. He types, "All right. Where?" After midnight camera show Wallace and his sidekick, Carlos Ortiz arriving at Hernandez's home. When Hernandez returns at 1:00 a.m., video shows him inside walking through his house with what appears to be a gun.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In this photo, you'll begin to see the outline of a firearm.

CANDIOTTI: At 1:12 a.m. the men drive away in a rented Nissan Altima. At 2:10 a.m. they're heading toward Odin Lloyd's house when they stop at a gas station.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He went to buy gums.

CANDIOTTI: Blue cotton candy gum. Outside Hernandez is seen pumping his arms in the air apparently, feeling good. About 20 minutes right after a black cat walks nearby, Odin Lloyd's younger sister Shaquilla sees an Altima pull up in front of their home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And just tell us what you saw of that car?

SHAQUILLA THIBOU, ODIN LLOYD'S SISTER: The car stops in front the drive way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At that time did your brother get in the car?


CANDIOTTI: Cell towers and a tall booth camera track the car as it travels toward a secluded area of an industrial park. At 3:22 a.m., Lloyd's sister gets a final message from him telling her he is with NFL, just so you know. But the jury never sees or hears that message. The judge bars the details ruling what Lloyd wrote is not proof he thought he was going to die.

As Lloyd sends that message headlights in the upper left of this video can been pulling into the unlit section of the industrial park where Odin Lloyd is murdered. Prosecutor say it's the Altima. For than next 3 minutes and 40 seconds there is no movement on screen, then headlights reemerge. The time in between, prosecutor say, is when Lloyd is shot dead. Around that same time, employees working the overnight shift at the industrial park are (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I heard a loud bang maybe 4 or 5 times. I thought it was fireworks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's about 6 or 8 loud sounds.

CANDIOTTI: Hernandez's home is just a half mile from the murder scene. At 3:29, the Altima pulls up in Hernandez's driveway. Juror receive video of the crime scene and Odin Lloyd's bullet riddled body. A lab scientist shows jurors, Lloyd shirt with bullet holes and blooded. And an investigator testifies that impressions he made of the Altima's tiers match track found at the scene.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We tell jury the over lace. It was here you see first (inaudible).

CANDIOTTI: And prosecutors say, this shoe print found near the Lloyd's body was made by Aaron Hernandez.

STEVE BENNETT: My opinion was it was consistent with the (inaudible) 11, Air Jordan size 13.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is Air Jordan 11 low.

CANDIOTTI: A Nike consultant testifies, that's the kind of sneaker Hernandez had on the night Lloyd was killed. After Hernandez returns the rented Altima, the afternoon of the murder the manager on duty makes a startling discovery.

KEELIA SMITH: I found a piece of chewed (inaudible) blue bubblicious gum and then bended the seat forward, I looked up and saw what I thought it's a bullet.

[21:45:04] CANDIOTTI: That's the type of gum purchased by Hernandez hours earlier. And it's not a bullet she finds but a shell casing. A ballistics expert testified that casing matches 5 others found at the murder scene.

SGT. STEPHEN WALSH, MASSACHUSETTS STATE POLICE: They were fired from the same unknown weapon cable of chambering 45 auto caliber ammunition.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you have an opinion as to the type of weapon that was.

WALSH: It's consistent with having to fire from a Glock.

CANDIOTTI: A Glock, that's the type of gun a Glock employee says Hernandez is carrying when he returns home minutes after the murder.

KYLE ASPINWALL DISTRICT MANAGER, GLOCK INC: In my opinion the firearm shown in the video shows is a Glock pistol.

CANDIOTTI: The murder weapon, the one prosecutor say is in Hernandez's hand that night has never been found. They suspect it's in a box inside this bag that Shayanna Jenkins, Hernandez's fiancee. She testifies she doesn't know what's in the box and that she gets rid of it after Hernandez called her and ask her to ditch it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did you do with it?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you say you dispose of it, where did you dispose of it?

JENKINS: In a dumpster

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And where was the dumpster?

JENKINS: I don't know.

CANDIOTTI: Jenkins suggest she can't remember because of the stress she was under dealing with Hernandez and with her sister whose boyfriend Lloyd had just been murdered. The prosecution then surprises jurors within unexpected famous witness.

ROBERT KRAFT, PATRIOTS, OWNER: He said it was lot of involve that he was innocent.

CANDIOTTI: Patriot's owner Robert Kraft meets privately with Hernandez two days after Lloyd's murder. Kraft testify his start tight-end claims he had an alibi and suggest his football player knew what time Odin Lloyd was killed long before the public did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did he say about wanting -- hoping for the time of the homicide to be revealed?

KRAFT: My recollection is that he said that he hope that the time of the event came out because he was in a club.

CANDIOTTI: Back then Lloyd's time of death had not been announced. If Hernandez knew the time of the murder, wouldn't he have to know something that had not yet been made public? Why would Hernandez kill Odin Lloyd? Prosecutor suggest the motive was some sort of falling out between Hernandez and Lloyd, two nights earlier when the man where at a Boston club.

KWAMI NICHOLAS, LLOYD'S FRIEND: I was in the (inaudible) club. He looks kind of angry.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're not familiar with Aaron's expressions or what he does with his face.

NICHOLAS: I'm familiar with human expressions.

CANDIOTTI: A defense attack on the states very of motive.


FAULK: It's not as bad now, than I'm not playing.

CANDIOTTI: Kevin Faulk's old teammate Aaron Hernandez is on trial for murder in Massachusetts but this retired doing with Patriots still has his back.

FAULK: I want to tell him that he has somebody on his side who is praying for him.

CANDIOTTI: Not event two more murder charges in the so called spilled drink case have changed Faulk's opinion of the player he knew.

FAULK: Give the question all the time. He thinks the boy did it. No, I don't want him to have done it. No. So if you want me to say, no, no, I don't think he did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Aaron Hernandez, as he sit here today...

CANDIOTTI: Faulk's friend is getting a solid defense inside court two.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Aaron Hernandez is an innocent man.

CANDIOTTI: Hernandez's lawyers win a court battle to keep Alexander Bradley from testifying Hernandez shot out his right eye.

The win emotion barring any mention of his upcoming trial for a Boston double murder but the main contention of Hernandez's lawyers...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The evidence will show the investigation was sloppy and unprofessional.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So what do you recognize that?

CANDIOTTI: During nearly every cross-examination, his lawyers tried to raise a reasonable doubt by questioning the competence of investigators.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As an experienced police officer, you understood that there could be a DNA on that towel, right?


CANDIOTTI: A towel found at the scene was picked up by hand before a rain storm hits.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But nobody mentioned it, right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody mentioned it. No.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah. I've hold it. Is that what you're telling us?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's exactly what I'm telling you. Yes.

CANDIOTTI: And he challenges the way they collected gum and shell casing evidence from a dumpster.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did Sergeant Baker climb inside the dumpster?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. And he started throwing stuff from the inside of the dumpster into the bed of his pick-up truck, right? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stuff was being handed out and it was being placed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does anyone ever taught you to collect the evidence that way, sir?


CANDIOTTI: The gum and casing were found clumped together inside a piece of paper but that's not how they were tested.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you ever told when you conducted this testing that the casing had been attached to a piece of chewed bubbled gum?

DIANE FIFE BIAGIOTTI: Not at the time I did my testing.

CANDIOTTI: She did find a partial DNA match for Hernandez's DNA on the shell casing. But the defense argues they got there from the gum.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you agree Ms. Biagiotti, that there is a high likelihood that the DNA on the chewed blue chewing gum would be transferred to that shell casing that was attached to it.



[21:55:01] BIAGIOTTI: Yes. I would agree with that.

CANDIOTTI: And remember the Glock employee who said Hernandez is a Glock in his hand. Hernandez's lawyer Jamie Sultan did his best to discredit that identification. Getting the man to admit he's not an expert at identifying guns and that he wanted to help police.

SULTAN: Did it occur to you that it would help the prosecution try to convict Aaron Hernandez if you testify that in your opinion, what was in his hand was a Glock.


CANDIOTTI: The defense later gets an I.T. expert to play a different portion of the video where the item in Hernandez's hand appears to be an iPad not a Glock.

Investigators believe a Glock was used to murder Odin Lloyd but they've never found it or the sneakers photographed but not ceased by police in Hernandez's basement in June of 2013.

Prosecutor's believed the ones in the middle are the air Jordan's Hernandez was wearing. A sneaker that made this print near Lloyd's body but the defense gets the investigator to admit he can't prove a key point.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, you can't tell us if Aaron Hernandez made that impression, can you?


CANDIOTTI: The defense also chips away at the prosecution's contention that the murder weapon was in this trash bag and not Hernandez told his fiancee to get rid of it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As you were taking that box out, did you smell anything?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you recognize the smell to be?

JENKINS: Marijuana.

CANDIOTTI: The defense also attacks what prosecutors hint is the motive for murder. Some sort of fall out between Lloyd and Hernandez two days earlier.

Defense Attorney Michael Fee hammers this witness who describes Hernandez as very angry at the night club.

MICHAEL FEE: How much time have you spent with Aaron?

NICHOLAS: I never met him before.

FEE: So, you're not familiar with Aaron's expression or what he does in face, are you?

NICHOLAS: I'm familiar with human expression.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How were they acting?

CANDIOTTI: And the defense tries to shift blame to codefendants Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, suggesting they were high on PCP the night of the murder.

This witnesses the men she knows as Bo and Charlie boy use angel dust, making them sweat and act crazy.

JENNIFER MERCADO: They were just real (inaudible), sweating.

DR. DAVID GREENBLATT, PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY EXPERT: My opinion is that PCP ingestion can cause psychosis and on some occasions, violence or aggressive behaviors.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did he make all the right choices? No.

CANDIOTTI: In closing statements, Hernandez's lawyer admits his client may have helped cover up a murder but insist he did not commit it.

SULTAN: He was a 23-year-old kid, had witness something, committed by somebody he knew. He really didn't know how to do it. So he just took one foot from the other.

So keep in mind. He is not charged with (inaudible). He is charged with murder and that he did not do it.

MCCANN: I think odds are Hernandez will be convicted but it is not a slam dunk case. There is still no gun.

CANDIOTTI: Jurors got the case on Tuesday April 7th. More than a week later a verdict.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What statement you got on for a person?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Guilty of murder in the first degree.

CANDIOTTI: Guilty of murdering Odin Lloyd.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are sentenced by order of the court (inaudible) for the term of you're natural life, without the possibility of parole.

URSULA: First and foremost I would like to thanks the heavenly master, because without him, nothing would be possible in my life and I wouldn't -- probably wouldn't get justice today.

Just like God has left his footprint in the sand, my baby's footprint's is in my heart forever.

CANDIOTTI: Aaron Hernandez, a former $40 million dollar man and the rising NFL star, will now spend the rest of his life in prison.