Two people who were near an industrial plant on the night former NFL star Aaron Hernandez is accused of killing an acquaintance testified today they heard a series of loud bangs that prosecutors argue were gunshots.
"I heard a loud bang, maybe four or five times. Two slow ones, three fast ones," Barbara Chan said this morning.
Michael Ribeiro, who worked the night shift at a nearby factory in North Attleborough, Massachusetts, and who regularly took a break to listen to a radio show in his car around 3:00 a.m., said he heard something similar.
Neither witness said they saw the alleged shooting, but Ribeiro said he heard "loud banging sound[s] like fireworks, about six or eight times."
Hernandez is on trial in the killing of Lloyd, a semi-professional football player who was dating the sister of Hernandez's then-fiancee at the time of his death. There have been questions where the slaying occurred, although the victim's body was found at the industrial plant.
One controversial portion of testimony that was discussed in court today but not officially entered into evidence was a series of texts that Lloyd apparently sent to his sister around the time of his death. The judge ruled Friday that the texts should not be included because they would prompt the jury to speculate about their content.
The judge has since reversed that decision, however, and today said she would allow the number of texts, the times the texts were sent and the location from where they were sent to be allowed in court. That information has not yet been presented.
Today marks the 13th day of the former NFL star's trial. Though they were a regular presence early on, none of Hernandez's relatives were in court again today, making it the fourth day in a row.
State law enforcement and investigation figures were called to the stand following Chan and Ribeiro, including a state police officer who found a gun near the reported crime scene.
The gun shown in court today had two bullets when it was found, but it is not believed to be the alleged murder weapon. Police have never found the weapon that was used to allegedly kill Lloyd.
Sgt. William Tarbokas of the Massachusetts State Police then told how he took Lloyd's fingerprints while he was being held at the medical examiner's office. Prosecutors argue that the fingerprints prove that he was present inside Hernandez's rented car before his death.
Two women who cleaned Hernandez's house also testified this afternoon, recalling an incident when they found a gun at his house -- which was not the same model that was used to kill Lloyd.
Both cleaners also told how they smelled marijuana in different parts of the home.
They also testified that Hernandez's then-fiancee Shayanna Jenkins told them to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
Hernandez has been charged with murder and weapons-related charges. He has pleaded not guilty.