NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) – A team of investigators returned to Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez's North Attleboro home over the weekend and left with bags of evidence.
Several Mass. State Police cruisers pulled up to the home just after 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Detectives approached the front door and entered the residence, as well as the back yard. Police K-9 teams were also seen at the home.
Just before 4 p.m., two investigators opened all four doors and the trunk of Hernandez's white SUV. They emptied the trunk's contents onto the driveway before returning all of the items back to the car. The men then moved their search to a silver car parked in the driveway. They left the driveway without taking any items from the cars and entered the home through the garage.
After a four-hour search, all investigators left the home through an open garage door at about 5:30 p.m. Three people placed several large brown bags into a crime scene truck parked in Hernandez's driveway.
A source told FOX 25's Bob Ward that a warrant for obstruction of justice was issued early Friday morning for Hernandez's arrest.
The source says the warrant is what is known as a "paper warrant." State Police are not executing it for the time being.
If the warrant were entered into the system, any police officer could immediately arrest Hernandez.
FOX 25 legal analyst Brad Bailey says the use of a paper warrant is often used as a means of negotiation with a defense attorney.
"It may be that this is a squeeze tactic," Bailey explains. "It may be telling Mr. Hernandez that we have a warrant, a warrant for a crime that has a potential maximum penalty of seven years in prison, is a tactic to get him to come to the table, start talking and start cooperating. And that's where the lawyers may be saying, okay, we got it. You got our attention. We're willing to respond."
Odin Lloyd, 27, was found dead in an industrial park less than a mile from Hernandez's home Monday.
On Thursday, Ward's sources confirmed that a hard drive to Hernandez's home surveillance system was heavily damaged when state police investigators went to his home earlier this week. A source also said that Hernandez's cell phone was confiscated by police and that it had suffered damage.
Sources said there was video evidence of Hernandez and two other men wearing hooded sweatshirts walking into Hernandez's home within minutes of neighbors hearing gunshots between 3 a.m. and 3:30 a.m. Monday morning. The sources said neighbors did not report the shots right away.
About an hour before Hernandez was seen on video walking into his home, he was seen at Lloyd's home in Dorchester according to another source.
Hernandez, Lloyd, and two other men were reportedly at a bar in Boston the night of the homicide, and at some point, the four men left together in a car driven by Hernandez which was confirmed by a text Lloyd sent another friend, a source said.
FOX 25 legal analysts say that an obstruction of justice charge is serious, particularly in a murder investigation, and can carry a sentence of up to five years in prison.
A FOX 25 photographer outside Hernandez's residence said that state troopers arrived at the home at about noon Friday but left moments later. It was not immediately known what they might have been doing there.
The Patriots tight end was driven to his home just before 5 p.m. Friday by his attorney. He entered his home through the garage and his attorneys left.
Troopers searched the area near Hernandez's home Thursday within the Westwood Estates development, as well as the industrial park where Lloyd's body was found.
Among other items, police said they were searching for a silver mirror cover which is believed to have been broken off a vehicle and may be visible along a route of travel between Dorchester and North Attleboro.
The scene at Hernandez's home was active nearly all week beginning Tuesday when authorities spent three hours inside the football player's home executing a search warrant and came out carrying a large box.
Hernandez was initially linked to the case after an Enterprise rental car rented in his name emerged as a key piece of evidence in the investigation.
Police in Providence, R.I. told FOX 25 Saturday they helped North Attleboro and Mass. State police obtain surveillance video from Club Desire. The video requested was filmed over a series of several days. It is currently unclear what connection the video has to a murder investigation taking place near the Patriots tight end's North Attleboro home.
Hernandez, a University of Florida Graduate and native of Bristol, Conn., was drafted by the Patriots in 2010. He had five touchdowns for the Pats during the 2012 season.
If you have any information, please contact North Attleboro Police at (508) 695-1212 or Massachusetts State Police tip line at 1-866-SOLVE-07 (765-8307).
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