FALL RIVER, Mass. - Tracking data shown to the jury Thursday in the murder trial of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez indicates the victim's cellphone pinged along the same route that prosecutors say Hernandez took the night of the killing.
The data roughly tracks the route prosecutors say Hernandez took from Odin Lloyd's home to the industrial park in North Attleborough where Lloyd was found shot to death June 17, 2013. A T-Mobile employee testified about cell sites that pinged Lloyd's phone starting at 2:32 a.m., when prosecutors have said Hernandez picked Lloyd up at his home in Boston.
Among the cell sites that pinged Lloyd's phone was one near the interchange of the Massachusetts Turnpike and Route 128 at 2:53 a.m., the same time a photo was taken showing a Nissan Altima that Hernandez rented driving through a toll plaza near there.
The phone headed south from there. It pinged a tower at 3:17 a.m. just north of North Attleborough. The next time it pinged a cell site was at 4:17 a.m. in the North Attleborough industrial park. Prosecutors have said Lloyd died shortly before 3:30 a.m.
Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to killing Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee.
Also Thursday, Hernandez lawyer James Sultan assailed a Massachusetts state trooper who testified that a tire track found near Lloyd's body matched a tire on the rented Altima, which Hernandez was seen driving on a gas station surveillance video that morning.
Trooper Todd Girouard said he was able to match the passenger-side rear tire to the track by using inked impressions of the tires from the car.
"It made the impression," he testified under questioning from prosecutor Brian Griffin.
He said he matched it by looking at the general characteristics of the tire, such as the tread, as well as characteristics unique to the individual tire, including stones embedded in it.
But Sultan got the trooper to acknowledge the match was his opinion, and then the lawyer went after his credentials. He pointed out that the trooper had only 4 1/2 days of training on tire impressions, that he had only examined 15 tires in his career and that this was the first time he had testified in court about tire tracks.