Court records in the Aaron Hernandez murder case released Thursday include photos of the former NFL star from Bristol holding what appears to be a gun soon after the slaying.
Investigators say they have not yet found the weapon used to shoot Odin Lloyd on June 17. The records, returns of search warrants, also indicate police have an interest in a different weapon — a Hungarian rifle they found during a search of the former New England Patriot’s North Attleborough home.
Hernandez, 23, has been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Lloyd. He also faces five firearms-related charges.
Surveillance photos released Thursday show the former Patriots tight end standing in his house holding what prosecutors have said resembles the Glock pistol they believe was used in the shooting. Prosecutors have previously said in court that Hernandez can be seen on a video walking into the home with a gun minutes after the shooting is believed to have taken place.
Documents related to two searches on July 5 indicate that investigators are interested in the 7.62x39mm Hungarian rifle they found in a black gym bag in a Toyota Sedan parked in Hernandez’s North Attleborough garage. The 33-round magazine was fully loaded, and in a separate search of an apartment described as a “flophouse” leased by Hernandez, police seized a box ammunition of the same caliber.
Investigators identified Hernandez’s palm print on the weapon, along with the fingerprints of someone else, documents released Thursday reveal. The significance of the rifle is unclear because much of the information in the documents was redacted.
Police are also investigating Hernandez in connection with a 2012 double homicide in Boston after a car matching the description of one investigators sought in that case was found in the garage of a Bristol home owned by his uncle. Carlos Ortiz and Ernest Wallace, the two other suspects charged in connection with the Lloyd investigation, are both said to have lived at that house.
Ortiz told police that he and Wallace drove back there the day after the Lloyd shooting in a Chrysler 300 Hernandez rented for them.
Wallace, who has pleaded not guilty to accessory after the fact, will appear in Attleboro court Friday morning for a status hearing. Ortiz has pleaded not guilty to illegal possession of a firearm; his next court date is Aug. 14.
Records released Thursday also show that police found fingerprints of Lloyd, Wallace and Hernandez in the Nissan Altima prosecutors say is connected to the slaying.
Text By Jenny Wilson, Hartford Courant; Video Report By Audrey Kuchen Fox CT