(NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH, Mass.) — Police were back at the home of New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez on Saturday, and entered this house carrying paperwork.
Hernandez is the subject of an arrest warrant drawn up on obstruction of justice charges based on the possible destruction of evidence in connection with the shooting death of his friend, ABC News has learned.
But as of late Friday, a warrant had been drawn up but yet not issued by the court, according to a spokesman for the Attleborough District Court, which covers Hernandez’s town.
Police sources told ABC News on Thursday that a major investigative tool — the security system at Hernandez’s home, which included video — had been intentionally destroyed. His cell phone was handed over to police “in pieces,” and appeared to have been smashed.
Police also want to know why a team of house cleaners were hired on Monday to scrub Hernandez’s mansion, the sources said.
Evidence is mounting that Hernandez and the victim, Odin Lloyd, 27, a semi-pro football player, had been together at several nightclubs during the course of the weekend, including the night before Lloyd’s body was found, several law enforcement sources told ABC News.
The star NFL player has not been ruled out as a suspect in Lloyd’s murder, sources said, but the warrant that has been issued does not include a murder allegation.
Hernandez returned to his home Friday evening, sitting in the backseat of a car driven by his lawyer.
Hernandez’s attorney, Michael Fee, has not commented on the investigation but released a statement Thursday saying: “It has been widely reported in the media that the state police have searched the home of our client, Aaron Hernandez, as part of an ongoing investigation. Out of respect for that process, neither we nor Aaron will have any comment about the substance of that investigation until it has come to a conclusion.”
Hernandez has been at the center of the investigation since Lloyd’s body was found shot in the back of the head in a scrubby clearing of an industrial park roughly a mile from the Patriots star’s $1.7 million mansion in North Attleborough, Mass., on Monday.
Lloyd was believed to have been killed sometime before dawn on Monday, although his body was not discovered until Monday evening by a teenage jogger.
Surveilance videos from nightclubs and in the area of Hernandez’s home show Hernandez, Lloyd and two other men together in the hours before Lloyd was shot in the head.
Police are also investigating “other incidents of violence” that Hernandez is suspected of being involved in, two sources told ABC News.
Hernandez is being sued by a former friend who lost his eye after he claims the Patriots player shot him in the face in February. A lawsuit in that case stated that Hernandez “possessed a gun he was not legally licensed to have.”
In the lawsuit initially filed in federal court on June 13, attorneys representing Alexander Bradley, 32, said that Hernandez and several others were at Tootsie’s strip club in Miami on Feb. 13 when Bradley and Hernandez got into an argument. The group then left the club, and while driving towards Palm Beach, Hernandez’s gun discharged inside the vehicle.
“It fired, and a bullet went through my client’s arm and blew out his right eye,” attorney David Jaroslawicz told ABCNews.com. “It has been enucleated — replaced with a prosthetic eye. He has also lost use of his right arm.”
The victim, however, apparently did not tell Palm Beach County sheriffs who responded that the shooter was his friend Aaron Hernandez. The tight end’s name is not mentioned on the police report.
Hernandez was also questioned about a shooting when he was a college student, but he was not charged in the case.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Brooke Baldwin, CNN
Kevin Liptak and Jeremy Diamond, CNN
Susan Scutti, CNN
Michael Nedelman, CNN