By JENNY WILSON, email@example.com
10:00 PM EST, January 31, 2014
Prosecutors said in court documents released Friday that former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez discussed the Odin Lloyd killing in jailhouse phone calls, speaking in code and referencing a car that is part of the investigation.
They filed a motion Thursday to obtain records of the former NFL star's telephone conversations after officials from the Bristol County Sheriff's Department provided them with details about the content of the calls.
Hernandez, accused of Lloyd's execution-style shooting death, has been imprisoned in Massachusetts since he was charged with murder in June. Lloyd, a resident of Dorchester, Mass., was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancée. His body was found blocks from the former Patriot's house in North Attleboro, Mass.
Hernandez's inmate phone records include conversations that the Bristol, Conn., native had with people charged in the case and others, according to prosecutors. They say that Hernandez spoke in "coded messages" while on the phone with people outside of jail. The court papers also say that Hernandez referenced "related prior offenses."
In addition to the murder charge, Hernandez faces multiple gun charges. He also is being investigated as a suspect in a drive-by shooting in which two men were killed in Boston in 2012. Boston detectives reopened their investigation last summer after receiving a tip that the same person responsible for Lloyd's death also was involved in the double homicide.
Hernandez has pleaded not guilty in the Lloyd case, and he has reiterated that position in his phone calls, prosecutors said. They also said that he made incriminating statements when denying ownership of a vehicle connected to the investigation.
Prosecutors also said in the motion that Hernandez's visitors to the Bristol County House of Corrections in North Dartmouth, Mass., have included his fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins, and his cousin, Tanya Cummings-Singleton, who both face charges in the Lloyd case. Jenkins is accused of lying to the grand jury investigating Lloyd's killing, and Cummings-Singleton, charged as an accessory, is accused of helping conceal evidence after Lloyd's death.
Also charged as accessories are Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, who authorities say were with Hernandez the night of Lloyd's death and fled to their Bristol hometown the following day.
According to Thursday's motion, Hernandez's calls included discussions about those charged as his accessories and the extent of control he had over them.
Prosecutors have asked for a hearing on the motion during Hernandez's next court appearance, scheduled for Feb. 5.
Also Friday, Hernandez's defense team filed a discovery motion in which it claimed that prosecutors said that Ortiz was an unreliable witness and that they did not intend to call him to testify at trial.
Prosecutors previously had said that Ortiz — who originally told prosecutors that Hernandez and his other alleged accomplice Ernest Wallace were with the victim when he was shot — recently revised his story to say that Hernandez was alone with Lloyd when the shooting occurred.
Hernandez's defense team, which has a video recording of the first statement that Ortiz gave to police, said in the court papers that Ortiz was told during the interview that his DNA and hair were identified on a white towel found near Lloyd's body. Surveillance footage from earlier in the night shows Ortiz wearing the towel.
Prosecutors declined to comment late Friday.
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