FALL RIVER — The five shell casings found at the scene of Odin L. Lloyd’s fatal shooting all came from the same weapon, a .45-caliber Glock handgun, a State Police sergeant testified Wednesday.
So did a sixth casing found inside the Nissan Altima that was seen on surveillance video entering and leaving the industrial site where Lloyd’s bullet-riddled body was found on June 17, 2013, testified Sergeant Stephen Walsh, a ballistics expert who analyzed the casings and bullets in the days after Lloyd’s killing.
“To a degree of ballistic certainty it’s my belief these were fired from the same weapon,” Walsh said. They’re “consistent with having been fired from a Glock.”
Prosecutors have yet to tie the .45-caliber handgun they say was used in Lloyd’s murder to Aaron Hernandez, the former NFL star they have described as the man who orchestrated Lloyd’s killing. The murder weapon has not been found.
But Walsh’s testimony, which came two days after a housekeeper testified that she’d seen a heavy, black firearm under a mattress in Hernandez’s North Attleborough home, was another effort by prosecutors to link Hernandez to the murder weapon.
Another housekeeper testified on Tuesday that she saw Hernandez’s fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins, place a black garbage bag into the back of a car the day after Lloyd’s body was found. Jenkins then drove away from the couple’s mansion, the housekeeper said, and was away for some time. Jenkins, who had been absent from the trial for the last five days, appeared in court Wednesday. She sat directly behind Hernandez, thumbing through an In Style magazine during breaks in the testimony.
Walsh’s testimony, which was mostly technical, took up most of the four-hour court session Wednesday.
Walsh, a trooper with 15 years of experience analyzing ballistics, explained that there were distinct, matching striations on the six found shell casings and four recovered bullets that showed they were fired from the same gun.
Walsh said he formed his opinion after conducting physical and microscopic exams on the ammunition recovered by police.
Lloyd was shot five times. Prosecutors did not say what happened to the other two bullets.
During cross-examination, defense attorney James Sultan peppered Walsh with questions about the unreliability of comparing bullets that come out of the .45 Glock, saying the barrel is too smooth to cause enough striations that can be compared adequately by ballisticians.
“Would you agree with me that the absence of clearly identifiable marking . . . inside Glock barrels has been a well-recognized issue in the ballistician community for firearm examiners such as yourself for many years?” Sultan asked.
“I agree,” Walsh said. But he disputed a line of questioning by Sultan that suggested FBI guidelines state bullets fired from a Glock should not be analyzed and compared.
“I can’t believe the FBI would ever endorse not examining bullets from the crime scene,” Walsh said later, when prosecutors questioned him again during re-direct examination.
Prosecutors also called Vanessa Sanchez, a 26-year-old from Pawtucket, to testify about the night before Lloyd’s body was found.
Sanchez and her boyfriend met with Hernandez and Jenkins and another couple at South Street Cafe, a Providence bar and restaurant, late on June 16, Father’s Day.
She described how Hernandez and Jenkins left around midnight — an important time reference for prosecutors, who have said Hernandez and two other men were in Boston 2½ hours later to pick up Lloyd at his home.
But the defense also used Sanchez’s testimony as a way to show the jury Hernandez did not have violence on his mind that night.
During cross-examination, Sanchez said Hernandez was affable and friendly. He talked about his plans to marry Jenkins and about his infant daughter. He bought the table a round of shots and toasted to fatherhood.
The three couples then had their picture taken. Hernandez, who paid the entire bill for the night, and Jenkins were the first to leave the bar.
Maria Cramer can be reached at email@example.com.