Aaron Hernandez Case: Odin Lloyd’s Sister Breaks Her Silence
(NEW YORK) — A star football player is in jail, charged with murder. Another man was sent to the same jail Friday on related weapons charges. And a third man in Florida turned himself in after authorities labeled him an “accessory after murder.”
Lost in the haze of fast-moving developments is a 27-year-old Connecticut man named Odin Lloyd. Massachusetts prosecutors say Lloyd, a semi-pro football player, was a friend of former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez – that is until Hernandez allegedly murdered him in cold blood on June 17.
In an exclusive interview with ABC News, Lloyd’s sister broke her silence to remember the brother she knew.
“I’m still trying to process what’s going on,” Olivia Thibou said. “I feel like I relive every day in my dreams. I go to sleep and I relive everything that’s broadcast on TV. I relive the night that we found out. I relive just everything. Even when I’m sleeping at night, I feel like it’s just a bad dream I’m not waking up from.”
In the days before the killing, authorities said, Hernandez and Lloyd had a dispute about people Lloyd was talking to at a nightclub. Then on June 17, Hernandez allegedly took Lloyd on a drive with two other people, shooting him five times, execution-style. Lloyd first tried to fight, according to a description laid out in court Thursday, but he was no match for .45-caliber bullets.
Thibou teared up recalling the words uttered by prosecutors. But she acknowledged that Lloyd and Hernandez were friends.
“I do know that they were friends,” she said, though she didn’t want to say more.
Because of that friendship, Thibou said she’s having a hard time understanding how her brother could have met the end he did.
“It’s confusing,” she said. “I don’t think there’s anything that any man can do to have their life taken away. So I can’t even begin to process everything. It still feels like yesterday, that we just found out.”
Lloyd’s sister said football was her brother’s life even though he wasn’t fortunate enough to make a living at it the way Hernandez did (the Patriots released Hernandez on Wednesday).
“He wanted to go to college and play football but, unfortunately, because of financial aid issues, he never ended up starting it,” she said, “and he ended up just joining the work force to raise money and see if he could go back to school.”
Worried he would lose too much playing time, Thibou said Lloyd “started playing semi-professional football” with the Boston Bandits.
Of late, Lloyd was working as a landscaper but “football was mostly his life – and his family.”
As Lloyd’s family prepared to pay their last respects, prosecutors told ABC News that everyone wanted in the murder is now in custody, though they have not revealed exactly who they allege did what in the middle-of-the-night darkness a mile away from Hernandez’s million-dollar home.
Twenty-seven-year-old Carlos Ortiz appeared Friday in court in North Attleboro, Mass., where he was ordered held without bail on weapons charges.
In Miramar, Fla., Ernest Wallace, 41, turned himself in to local cops telling them “that he saw his name in news reports and knew he had a warrant for his arrest,” according to an announcement from police. He is expected to be arraigned Saturday on “accessory” charges and then transferred at some point to Massachusetts.
Prosecutors have not revealed much about the final dispute between Lloyd and Hernandez or details on the NFL star’s alleged motive in the killing.
Law-enforcement sources told ABC News that detectives are focusing on whether Lloyd was killed because of information he might have had concerning a July 2012 double homicide for which Hernandez is now being investigated.
Lloyd’s family, though, is focusing on who they lost – not how.
“I wish that everybody had the opportunity to meet him,” Thibou said. People “missed out on meeting a great guy.”
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