New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez has been embroiled in a murder investigation for the last several days, and if the latest reports turn out to be correct, he could be in very serious legal trouble. Police have not named any suspects in the death of an "associate" of the NFL Pro Bowler, but Steve Silva of Boston.com has reported that Hernandez will soon be arrested in connection with the crime.
Hernandez has been questioned several times by police after the death of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd was ruled a homicide. Lloyd was found dead on Monday night at an industrial park not far from Hernandez's Boston-area home. A vehicle rented by Hernandez was also placed near the scene of the crime. Police believe Lloyd, a semi-professional football player with the local Boston Bandits, was shot elsewhere and his body dumped later. (He was also reportedly dating the sister of Hernandez's girlfriend.) Hernandez's house has also been searched several times, and on Tuesday police were seen leaving the home with a large box of evidence.
Earlier today, the situation got much worse for Hernandez. FOX25 Boston reports that police source says he and Lloyd were in that same car on the night of the murder. They were at bar in Boston with two other men and all four left together in a vehicle Hernandez was driving. (A text message sent by Lloyd before his death apparently confirms that.) According to the sources, only three men arrived the Hernandez home later that night, and Lloyd was not one of them.
The investigation has also uncovered some ugly stories from Hernandez's past. TMZ reported that a man filed suit against Hernandez just last week, claiming that the NFL player shot him the face after an altercation at a strip club in Februrary. The case was dropped after just four days, but TMZ claimed it would be re-filed soon. Police were called, but the victim refused to identify Hernandez by name. Also, before being drafted in 2010, several teams raised concerns about the player's reported connections to gang members and trouble with drug use while in college.
Police are reportedly still gathering evidence now, but are expected to reveal what they know soon, and that could mean the end of the line for Hernandez. FOX 25 even has a helicopter tracking Hernandez's movements as he heads to work at the Patriots' stadium. He and his team have had no comment on the case so far. The tight end has played for the Patriots since they drafted him in 2010, becoming one of the best at the position in the NFL and forming a notorious duo with fellow Pats tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Update (2:15 p.m.): ABC News is also reporting that police returned to the Hernandez home on Thursday with a warrant claiming he intentionally destroyed his own home security system, which includes video surveillance. In addition, when ordered to turn over his cellphone, his attorneys gave investigators a phone that was "in pieces." Police say Hernandez also hired housecleaners to scrub his home on Monday, the day after the murder.