Texts, Bubble Gum Might Doom Aaron Hernandez

While Patriots might try to avoid paying him millions he is due
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 27, 2013 10:50 AM CDT
Texts, Bubble Gum Might Doom Aaron Hernandez
Aaron Hernandez stands with attorney Michael Fee during arraignment in Attleboro District Court Wednesday.   (AP Photo/The Sun Chronicle, Mike George, Pool)

Aaron Hernandez is due back in court today for a bail hearing as more details emerge about the murder of a man named Odin Lloyd that prosecutors say he orchestrated. (It's not clear yet whether they think the former NFL player did the actual shooting.) Two standout details from AP:

  • After Hernandez and two friends picked up Lloyd at his house about 2:30am, an apparently worried Lloyd texted his sister. "Did you see who I was with?" he wrote. Then later: "NFL. Just so you know."
  • Prosecutors say Hernandez bought blue Bubblicious gum at a gas station before picking up Lloyd. Later, police recovered a piece of the gum and a shell casing, one that matched the casings found near the body, in trash of the rental car company used by Hernandez. (Per the prosecutor, an attendant says he found the items while cleaning Hernandez's rental, and remembered that Hernandez offered him a stick of the gum.)

Hernandez presumably has plenty of money socked away to pay for a strong defense, but the New England Patriots hope to avoid adding to the coffer. By cutting him yesterday before letting the legal process play out, the Patriots remain on the hook for millions, reports NBC Sports. But Mike Florio writes that the team might simply refuse to pay Hernandez the $3.25 million he is due in March as part of a signing bonus, along with another $2.5 million in supposedly guaranteed salary. That would force Hernandez to go after it in court, at a time when his lawyers will have their hands full with more pressing matters. (More Aaron Hernandez stories.)

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