FALL RIVER, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) -- Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was held without bail following a hearing Thursday, one day after he was charged with murder in the death of a 27-year-old Dorchester man.
Hernandez's attorney James Sultan argued that his client is a member of the community and is highly visible due to his status as one of the best football players in the country.
Sultan also argued that Hernandez should be released on bail because he has no prior arrest record and needs medical attention for a recent surgery that he will be unable to receive in Bristol County Correctional. Sultan and his co-counsel requested Hernandez be released on high cash bail with GPS monitoring or on house arrest.
Prosecutors recounted a veritable mountain of evidence during the bail hearing that they initially presented at Hernandez's arraignment Wednesday.
One prosecutor said a search of a Frankin, Mass. condo leased by Hernandez turned up an ammunition clip matching the caliber of casings found at the scene of the killing of Odin Lloyd. A search of a Hummer belonging to Hernandez turned up an ammunition clip matching the caliber of casings found at the scene of the killing of Odin Lloyd, the prosecutor said.
The prosecutor also mentioned a photo posted by TMZ Wednesday that shows Hernandez holding a glock handgun, which TMZ says was taken in 2009. Prosecutors said the gun was similar to the one Hernandez was seen carrying on surveillance footage on the day Odin Lloyd was killed. They added that there was reason to believe Lloyd was killed with a glock handgun.
Sultan disputed the image, saying that it was an example of why defendants are not tried in bail hearings. He added that undated Internet images are not good evidence.
The judge said a GPS bracelet wasn't enough to keep Hernandez in the state if released on bail and ultimately denied the request.
"The idea that I can release him on a bracelet is not something I am willing to accept," said the judge.
Mass. State Police returned to Hernandez's home Thursday and could be seen going in and out of the home. It is unclear what they were looking for or if they recovered anything from the residence.
Investigators also continued to search the third floor unit in a Franklin condo complex. Condo resident Carol Bailey said that starting Wednesday and continuing Thursday, police removed items from the modest, two-bedroom rental unit and asked her questions about its occupants. She said a new tenant told her in May that he was moving in with his cousin, and she realized later that the second man he had referred to was the Patriots player.
"I thought, 'This is Aaron Hernandez. He's renting a place here so he can have some peace and quiet,'" the retiree said Thursday.
The Ledgewood Condominiums resident said she didn't see the two men often, but Hernandez always had a hoodie pulled up when she saw him.
"I think all of us who recognized who it was didn't want to invade his privacy," she said of neighbors.
Bailey said she believed a black Hummer with expired, temporary Ohio tags that was parked at the complex was driven by someone in the condo. She said police towed away the Hummer on Wednesday.
Hernandez was officially charged in Attleboro District Court Wednesday following his arrest at his home Wednesday morning. The ex-Patriot pleaded not guilty to six charges that include murder, unlawful possession of a firearm, and possession of a large capacity firearm.
During his arraignment, Bristol County first assistant district attorney William McCauley said Odin Lloyd was last seen alive with Hernandez at about 2:30 a.m. on June 17. Lloyd's body was later discovered in an industrial park less than a mile away from Hernandez's home.
McCauley said that Lloyd was found with multiple gunshot wounds, including two to his chest. Evidence suggests Lloyd was on the ground when he was shot. Bullet casings were found near his feet as well as near his head, according to investigators.
According to McCauley, Hernandez had previously told Lloyd he was upset that the 27-year-old talked to some people Hernandez was having "trouble with" at a night club on June 14. He said Hernandez told Lloyd that he "couldn't trust anyone anymore."
Prosecutors said Lloyd text messaged a family member during the early morning hours of June 17 asking them if they saw who he was with before text messaging again "NFL." His final text message was "just so you know."
McCauley said tire tracks adjacent to Lloyd's body showed slight depressions were made when the tires spun fast, possibly when the car drove away. The tread marks indicated a car with front wheel drive. They claim the silver Nissan Altima rented by Hernandez, that Lloyd's sister saw him get in, had front wheel drive. They also say dirt in the tire treads of the car and in the wheel well were consistent with dirt found at the scene.
They also allege surveillance video footage from Hernandez's home was missing when investigators attempted to look at it six to eight hours after the killing. A source told FOX 25's Bob Ward that surveillance video showed Hernandez walk into his home with two others around 3:30 a.m. on June 17, but Lloyd was not with them.
Investigators claim they found a .22 caliber gun tied to an altercation in Providence, R.I. while searching the woods near Hernandez's home. They also reportedly found a semi-automatic rifle with a magazine in it. Hernandez does not have a license to carry a firearm.
The Patriots cut Hernandez from the team about an hour after his arrest. "At this time, we believe this transaction is simply the right thing to do," said the Patriots.
Hernandez, who played three seasons in New England, was an All-American at Florida. But heading into the NFL draft at least one team said it took him off its draft board — refusing to select him under any circumstances — and all of the other teams in the league bypassed him repeatedly as he fell to New England in the fourth round.
In 38 games over his three NFL seasons, the 6-foot-1, 245-pound Hernandez has 175 receptions for 1,956 yards and 18 touchdowns. Last summer, he was given a five-year contract worth $41 million just months after the team locked up Rob Gronkowski through 2019.
Hernandez is being represented by Attorney Michael K. Fee, of Ropes & Gray LLP, and Attorney James Sultan, of Rankin & Sultan.
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