Police have made another arrest in connection with the Aaron Hernandez murder case, just one week after two of his known associates were indicted for the slaying for which the former NFL star is currently incarcerated. According to reports, a federal grand jury in Boston indicted Oscar “Papoo” Hernandez of Orlando Wednesday on charges of obstruction of justice, witness tampering and lying to a grand jury.
The probe reportedly took shape when a grand jury in Massachusetts traced three guns found in the investigation of Odin Lloyd’s murder to an April 2013 purchase in Florida. Aaron and two other men have been charged with Lloyd’s June 17, 2013 murder. According to the indictment, Oscar Hernandez, 23, is accused of lying to a grand jury last December when he testified he did not purchase the Toyota Camry that was discovered at Aaron’s home during the investigation. Police found a rifle inside a gray Toyota Camry with Florida license plates parked in his garage.
Oscar Hernandez also faces charges of trying to influence the testimony of a person in the investigation, who police say sold him the Camry that was recovered. The weapon used in Lloyd’s murder, authorities said, was not among the guns found in the investigation. If convicted, he faces up to 35 years in prison.
Late last week a grand jury charged Carlos Ortiz and Ernest Wallace in connection with Lloyd’s shooting. Both Ortiz and Wallace, who grew up near Hernandez in Bristol, had been previously charged with accessory to murder and pleaded not guilty. All three men could be convicted of Lloyd’s murder, according to reports, but the difficulty will be in proving that all three had intent to commit the crime.
At the time of the killing, Lloyd, 27, had been dating Shayanna Jenkins, the sister of Aaron’s fiancee who was charged with perjury when she testified to a grand jury. His cousin, Tanya Singleton, declined to testify and was charged with criminal contempt. They both plead not guilty. Lloyd was discovered near Hernandez’s home in an industrial park shot multiple times in an execution-style killing, police said. Aaron pleaded not guilty, but was later captured on surveillance cameras dancing and apparently high on drugs just minutes before police determined he picked up Lloyd and just minutes before the shooting.
What prompted Lloyd’s shooting is still in question. A clear motive has yet to emerge. Investigators believe the two, who reportedly had a good relationship because of football as well as dating two sisters, argued at a nightclub several days before. Jenkins said she suspected, according to investigators, that Lloyd may have been a drug dealer. A scale of the type used to weigh drugs was found in Hernandez’s residence, according to court documents. His own drug use is also a point of interest for investigators, as is a 2012 shooting that he is being investigated for. The possibility that Lloyd may have been murdered because he knew details of the incident, namely the scope of his involvement, is also being probed.
Commentary by Rick Sarlat