Testimony in the murder trial of former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez ended Monday after the defense called just three witnesses and rested its case in a single day.
Superior Court Judge Susan Garsh told jurors they had heard all the evidence they would hear, and that they were due in court Tuesday morning to hear closing arguments and receive instructions. They will then begin deliberations.
Hernandez has pleaded not guilty in the June 17, 2013, killing of Odin Lloyd, who was shot six times at an industrial park less than a mile from Hernandez's home in North Attleborough. Lloyd was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancée. At the time of the killing, the star tight end had a $40 million contract with the Patriots.
The defense's first witness was a professor at Tufts University School of Medicine, who testified about the effects of the drug PCP, saying it can cause people to become suddenly violent days after using it. Hernandez's cousin testified that she saw his two co-defendants, Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, smoking PCP the weekend of the crime. Both men have pleaded not guilty and will be tried later.
Prosecutor Patrick Bomberg went after Dr. David Greenblatt's testimony, showing surveillance video of Ortiz, Wallace and Hernandez from Hernandez's home before and immediately after the killing. In the videos, the men do not appear to be acting strangely.
The other two witnesses called by the defense related to DNA on a shell casing found inside a silver Nissan Altima that was rented by Hernandez, which prosecutors say he used to drive Lloyd to his death. When police found the shell casing in a trash bin at a rental car agency, it was stuck to chewed blue bubble gum that also was found in the Nissan. In testing, Hernandez's DNA was found on the shell casing. The defense has argued it got there from the bubble gum. A DNA analyst testified Monday that Hernandez's DNA was on the bubble gum.
Sharper pleads not guilty in other rape charges
Former NFL star Darren Sharper entered a not guilty plea in his first court appearance in Louisiana to face charges that he drugged women in order to rape them. However that is considered a legal formality since a magistrate judge can't accept a felony guilty plea.
Sharper already pleaded guilty or no-contest to related charges in three other states.
… The Bengals added to their depth at receiver by signing Denarius Moore, an unrestricted free agent from Oakland. Moore was the Raiders' fifth-round pick in 2011. … The Bengals kept receiver Brandon Tate by signing their unrestricted free agent to a deal last week. … Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson decided to not attend the start of the team's voluntary workouts while he waits for a potential new contract. … Longtime Raiders defensive assistant and former NFL player Charlie Sumner died. He was 84. Sumner played safety for eight seasons with Chicago and the Vikings (1961-62) and also coached for Pittsburgh, New England and Oakland of the USFL.
Calipari, Haywood lead class
Kentucky coach John Calipari and Spencer Haywood are among 11 new inductees going into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this year. The rest of the class consists of former WNBA star Lisa Leslie, longtime referee Dick Bavetta, Celtics star Jo Jo White and Boston coach Tom Heinsohn, four-time NBA defensive player of the year Dikembe Mutombo, former coach George Raveling, ex-Kentucky and ABA star Louis Dampier, Australian player and coach Lindsay Gaze and John Isaacs, an ex-player who will be inducted posthumously.
Alabama hires Avery Johnson
Alabama hired former NBA player and coach Avery Johnson to lead the program. The terms of his contract won't be released until it's approved by the board of trustees' compensation committee. Kevon Looney, who averaged 11.6 points and 9.2 rebounds as a freshman, is leaving UCLA to enter the NBA draft.