Massachusetts authorities are expected to execute an arrest warrant for New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez for obstruction of justice in connection with a homicide investigation, sources tell ABC News.
The warrant was prepared after police discovered that the security system at Hernandez’s home, along with his cellphone, were destroyed, sources told ABC News.
Police were at Hernandez’s home again Thursday with another search warrant based on evidence that Hernandez “destroyed his home security system,” an investigator close to the case told ABC News.
The investigator and other law enforcement sources confirmed the security system was smashed intentionally. Hernandez’s cellphone was handed over to investigators “in pieces” by his attorneys, sources added.
Police also want to know why a team of house cleaners was hired on Monday to scrub Hernandez’s mansion, sources told ABC News.
“There’s a federal statute in every state that you cannot knowingly destroy evidence. And what [authorities] believe has happened here is that the home surveillance system was destroyed, the cell phone was destroyed, the house was cleaned, and the police think there was evidence that was destroyed because of that,” ESPN legal analyst Roger Cossack said.
“Now the problem of course is that nobody knows what was in that home surveillance so in some ways it’s difficult for the police to make their case,” Cossack said.
Surveillance video from the North Attleborough, Mass., neighborhood of Hernandez shows him with Odin Lloyd and two other people hours before Lloyd was killed earlier this week, sources confirmed to ABC News late Thursday.
In addition, the Boston Globe reported that video images appear to show Hernandez and Lloyd together on Fayston Street in Boston early Monday morning.
Hernandez, 23, has been at the center of the investigation since the body of Lloyd, a 27-year-old semi-pro football player, was found shot in the back of the head Monday in an industrial park near Hernandez’s home in North Attleborough.
Lloyd’s uncle, Ishmael Andrew, told The Associated Press on Friday that Lloyd was dating the sister of Hernandez’s girlfriend. Family members have said Lloyd was never in trouble.
Meanwhile, a lawsuit has been re-filed in Florida against Hernandez by a man the tight end allegedly shot in South Florida in February. The lawsuit contends Alexander S. Bradley was shot in the arm but the bullet traveled to his head, causing him to lose his right eye.
Video footage by a WCVB-TV chopper showed Hernandez traveling by car to Gillette Stadium on Thursday morning. He left the stadium shortly after noon, then was swarmed by reporters after he stopped at a gas station.
The Boston Herald reported that Hernandez was told to leave the stadium by staff, who were waiting for him when he showed up for a workout. Patriots spokesman Stacey James told the newspaper that he had no idea why Hernandez came to the stadium.
“No coaches are here,” said James, who declined further comment to the Herald.
Lloyd’s body was discovered in a clearing near John Dietsch Boulevard, not far from a vehicle that had been rented by Hernandez. Police have ruled Lloyd’s death a homicide.
“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,” attorney Michael Fee said in a statement.
Police are asking for the public’s help in locating a silver mirror cover believed to have been broken off a vehicle and might be visible along a route of travel between Dorchester, where Lloyd was from, and North Attleborough.
The NFL is not commenting on the Hernandez situation at this point, a league official told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. But the NFL is monitoring developments, as it would in any matter of this nature.
Bradley, the man who claims he was shot by Hernandez after the two argued upon leaving a Miami nightclub in February, is represented by New York attorney David Jaroslawicz.
Asked whether he has a police report of the incident, Jaroslawicz declined to provide information. According to USA Today Sports, his client was in the hospital for weeks, and “I’m sure the police were there.”
A spokesman for Miami-Dade police told USA Today that he was checking to see whether a report was filed.
A police report from the Palm Beach County Sheriff describes a shooting incident involving a man named Bradley on Feb. 13. The sheriff’s office deemed the case inactive because Bradley refused to cooperate. Hernandez was not named in the report.