Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, is in court today being grilled about alleged murderer Aaron Hernandez. The Patriots drafted Hernandez in the 4th round in 2010, and he played with the team for three seasons before he was arrested June 2013 for alleged murder. He’s since been linked to other murders.
Kraft was asked about the events of June 19, two days after the killing. By then, Kraft said, there was a strong media presence at Gillette Stadium, including helicopters, which were covering the investigation.
Kraft said he found Hernandez in a weight room working out and pulled him into an adjacent office for a private talk.
“I understood there was an incident that had transpired, and I wanted to know whether he was involved, and if he was — any player that comes into our system, I consider part of our extended family, and I wanted to get him help,” Kraft said.
“What did he say?” prosecutor William McCauley asked.
“He said he was not involved,” Kraft replied. “That he was innocent and that he hoped that the time of the murder incident came out because he said he was in a club,.
Prosecutors have said Hernandez was at a bar earlier in the evening, then drove to Boston with two friends, picked up Lloyd and killed him in an industrial park.
Kraft said his conversation with Hernandez lasted five to 10 minutes. Later, he saw Hernandez one last time at the stadium.
“He hugged and kissed me and thanked me for my concern,” Kraft said.
As he left the courthouse, Kraft was heard saying, “It’s very sad.” He was later asked if he sympathizes for Lloyd’s family.
“Yes,” Kraft told reporters. “A man died.”
Also testifying Tuesday was the Patriots’ director of security.
Here are a handful of tweets from reporters at the courthouse:
Kraft testifies that he and #AaronHernandez had a special greeting. “He would always hug and kiss me”
— Jenny Wilson (@jennydwilson) March 31, 2015
Kraft is looking and smiling slightly at the jurors who are staring back. He’s got their undivided attention.
— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) March 31, 2015
Bill Belichick, coach of the Patriots, is expected to take the stand in the coming days.
[Some information used via Associated Press]