Aaron Hernandez allegedly made advances on baby sitter
Also tells jury of uneasy meeting
FALL RIVER — The baby sitter who took care of Aaron Hernandez’s infant daughter in the hours before the killing of Odin Lloyd had an “uncomfortable” encounter with Hernandez a few nights earlier, the woman testified Monday in the murder trial of the former New England Patriots player.
Hernandez, 25, has pleaded not guilty to murder and weapons charges in the slaying of Lloyd, 27, of Dorchester, whose bullet-riddled body was found on the afternoon of June 17, 2013, in an industrial park near Hernandez’s home in North Attleborough.
On Monday, Jennifer Fortier, 28, said she began looking after the daughter of Hernandez and his fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins, in the spring of 2013.
Fortier also testified that she and a friend went to several Boston clubs on the night of June 14, 2013, and spotted Hernandez in a black SUV around 2 a.m. when the clubs closed. He was parked near a downtown hotel and agreed to drive Fortier and her friend to their car a few blocks away, Fortier testified.
But instead of driving the women to their vehicle, she said, Hernandez drove back to North Attleborough, where he dropped off a male passenger and continued driving the two women and Lloyd to a Franklin apartment that Hernandez leased.
“I kept telling him that I needed to leave because I was the baby sitter, and I was uncomfortable,” Fortier testified.
She said that when they arrived at the apartment, Hernandez and Lloyd smoked marijuana, and Hernandez eventually went to a bedroom and called out to her, so she entered the room.
“He kissed me, and I pushed him away,” Fortier said. “I told him no, I’m the nanny, and I can’t do this.”
Hernandez said he understood and stopped, Fortier testified, and he fell asleep on the bed. She then called a cab, which took her and her friend back to their car in Boston.
Fortier told defense lawyer Michael Fee on cross-examination that she never felt threatened or scared during the ride to Franklin. Fee also pointed to Fortier’s prior grand jury testimony, when she said that Hernandez and Lloyd acted “just like little boys” in the SUV and were not arguing.
Prosecutors have said Hernandez, Lloyd, and another man went to a Boston club before running into Fortier, and that Hernandez “left the club angry” after observing some friends of Lloyd’s.
In addition to the trip to Franklin, Fortier also testified about the arrival of two men, Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, at Hernandez’s home shortly after midnight on June 17, 2013, while she was watching the athlete’s daughter.
Soon after the men arrived, Fortier testified, she got a call from either “Aaron or Shay,” meaning Jenkins. Fortier then handed her phone to Wallace, who had a brief conversation with the caller, she said.
Wallace and Ortiz have also pleaded not guilty to murder charges in Lloyd’s death and will be tried separately.
Jurors viewed footage from Hernandez’s home security system of that exchange and also saw clips that were filmed around 1 a.m., after Hernandez and Jenkins returned to the residence.
In that footage, Hernandez, Wallace, and Ortiz were seen coming and going from the basement. Hernandez at one point had a black, square-shaped object in his hands, and Wallace was seen carrying a white plastic bag with dark-colored items inside. It was not clear what any of the objects were.
About 90 minutes later, the three men allegedly picked up Lloyd outside his Dorchester residence and drove him to the industrial park, where he was shot to death.
Defense attorneys have said that surveillance footage that prosecutors contend shows Hernandez holding a gun inside the home may in fact show him holding a remote control or other electronic device.
Prosecutor William McCauley on Monday asked Fortier if she remembered “seeing a remote control that looked anything like a gun” inside the house, prompting an objection from the defense, which Judge E. Susan Garsh sustained.
The jury has yet to see a surveillance photo that prosecutors say shows Hernandez carrying a gun in his home minutes after the slaying. Authorities have not recovered the .45 caliber firearm used to kill Lloyd.