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Aaron Hernandez Search Warrants Unsealed In Connecticut Ahead Of Probable Cause Hearing

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AARON HERNANDEZ
Bristol County State Police paid a short visit to the home of New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez in North Attleborough, Mass., Friday, June 21, 2013. | Getty
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ATTLEBORO, Mass. -- Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez is due to make another court appearance in the murder case against him.

A probable cause hearing for Hernandez is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon in Attleboro. He has pleaded not guilty to murder in the death of Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old Boston semi-professional football player whose body was found June 17 in an industrial park near Hernandez's home. He had been shot five times.

Prosecutors say Hernandez orchestrated Lloyd's killing because he was upset at him for talking to people Hernandez had problems with at a nightclub a few days earlier.

They say Hernandez and two associates, Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, drove with Lloyd to the North Attleborough industrial park. Authorities have not said who fired the shots, but documents filed in Florida - and released since Hernandez's last court appearance - paint the former Patriot as the triggerman. According to the records, Ortiz told police that Wallace said Hernandez fired the shots.

Hernandez's lawyers say the case against him is circumstantial and he wants to clear his name. Hernandez, who was kicked off the team soon after his arrest, is being held without bail at a county jail.

Wallace and Ortiz also are facing charges. Wallace pleaded not guilty to a charge of being an accessory to murder after the fact. Ortiz has pleaded not guilty to a gun charge.

Warrants released Tuesday in Hernandez's hometown of Bristol, Conn., show police found ammunition, a gun box and documents tied to Ortiz and Wallace at Hernandez's uncle's home.

The warrants were used to search that home, where Ortiz said he lived; an apartment also linked to Ortiz; and a rental car police say was used by Wallace and Ortiz to return to Connecticut the day after the shooting.

The items seized from the home included clothes, Correction Department documents linked to Ortiz and Wallace, a plastic gun box and two boxes of .38-caliber ammunition.

Police say Lloyd was killed with a .45-caliber gun.

Bristol police also have been investigating a possible link to a 2012 fatal shooting in Boston, and earlier said they had seized an SUV wanted in that investigation from the uncle's home.

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