By Daniel Lovering
FALL RIVER, Mass. (Reuters) – Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez appeared upset with a man he is accused of murdering two days before the killing, an associate of the victim said on Tuesday.
Kwami Nicholas testified in Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River, Massachusetts, that Hernandez stared at the man he is accused of killing, semiprofessional football player Odin Lloyd, and another man at a Boston nightclub on the night of June 14, 2013.
“He seemed like he was angry about something,” Nicholas said, adding he saw Hernandez “storming out of the club” and “walking aggressively.”
“He looked like he was upset,” Nicholas added.
Prosecutors contend Hernandez killed Lloyd, who was dating his fiancée’s sister, after becoming upset at him for associating with people he disliked at the Rumor nightclub that night.
Hernandez, 25, had a $41 million contract with the Patriots when he was cut from the team hours after being arrested for Lloyd’s killing in June 2013. He is on trial on murder and firearms charges and faces a maximum penalty of life in prison if convicted.
The former tight end and two friends, Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, picked up Lloyd at his Boston home in the early hours of June 17, 2013, and drove him to an industrial park less than a mile from Hernandez’s house in North Attleborough, Massachusetts, where his body was found later that day, according to prosecutors.
Lloyd, 27, had been shot five times with a .45 caliber handgun, and investigators found several shell casings at the scene and one that had been removed from a rental car returned by Hernandez.
Nicholas said Hernandez stared at Lloyd and another man for two or three minutes and later walked quickly out of the nightclub with his head down as Lloyd ran behind him, trying to catch up.
He said Hernandez appeared to brush Lloyd away with an arm gesture, telling him to talk to someone else.
Also on Tuesday, the jury heard that Hernandez wore a model of Nike shoe in surveillance video recorded at his home that prosecutors say he was wearing at the time of the murder.
Herbert Hedges, a consultant for Nike Inc, identified the footwear worn by Hernandez in still images as Nike Air Jordan XI Retro Low shoes, saying: “It’s a very unique shoe.”
The print from the shoe matches a print found near Lloyd’s body, prosecutors say.
(Reporting by Daniel Lovering; Editing by Scott Malone, Eric Beech and Peter Cooney)