Metro

Hernandez fiancee tells jury of box’s removal

Fiancee testifies ex-Patriot didn’t describe contents of package to her

FALL RIVER — The fiancee of former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez returned to the witness stand in his murder trial Monday and told jurors for the first time about a box that she removed from the couple’s home the day after the killing of Odin Lloyd.

Shayanna Jenkins testified Monday that Hernandez called her on the afternoon of June 18, 2013, and “told me to go downstairs in our storage room and remove a box.” Jenkins had testified about that phone call on Friday out of the jury’s presence.

“His tone, I believe, was normal,” Jenkins said Monday, adding that she did not see what was in the box, and Hernandez did not tell her what was inside.

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Hernandez, 25, has pleaded not guilty to murder and weapons charges in the slaying of Lloyd, 27, of Dorchester, who was fatally shot in an industrial park near the athlete’s North Attleborough home. Jenkins faces a perjury charge connected to the case and testified under a grant of immunity.

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She said Monday that she put the box and some clothes in a garbage bag, “so nothing was exposed, I guess,” and later drove around looking for a dumpster to throw the box in. Prosecutors believe the box contained the murder weapon, which has not been recovered.

Prosecutor William McCauley asked Jenkins Monday about her inability to remember the location of the dumpster that she chose, and she cited the stress that she felt in the aftermath of Lloyd’s death.

“At that point I was nervous,” Jenkins said. “There were a lot of things going on.”

During the same trip to find a dumpster, Jenkins bought baby supplies and withdrew $800 from an ATM in Plainville, according to bank records and her testimony.

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She said she may have used the money to pay her house cleaners or purchase the child-care products.

Video showed Shayanna Jenkins removing items from the couple’s home.
Boston Globe
Video showed Shayanna Jenkins removing items from the couple’s home.

Jenkins had testified Friday that she met Ernest Wallace, one of Hernandez’s alleged accomplices, earlier on June 18 and gave him $500, and that he had asked for more.

While being questioned by the defense, Jenkins told defense lawyer Charles Rankin that the box had a “funky smell” that resembled the odor of marijuana when she took it from the basement. She said she thought at the time that the box may have contained drugs.

Rankin also returned to the subject of a gun that Jenkins testified about on Friday, when she recalled finding a firearm in the couple’s kitchen junk drawer sometime before the murder, and giving Hernandez a “stern look” to express her displeasure.

On Monday, Jenkins told Rankin she thought Hernandez removed the firearm from the house after she gave him the cross look, but she told McCauley during further questioning that she never actually saw Hernandez take the gun from the residence.

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Other highlights of Jenkins’s testimony, which spanned more than four hours on Monday, included her telling jurors that Hernandez denied killing Lloyd when she asked “if he did it,” and that she and Hernandez briefly split in 2012 when she learned that he had cheated on her. She teared up when she told Rankin about her decision to reconcile.

“I made a decision that if I was going to move back in with Aaron, that I would have to kind of compromise on his behavior,” Jenkins said. “And that included infidelity.”

McCauley later asked if Jenkins “put [her] foot down as to certain things,” including the gun in their home, and she responded, “correct.”

Jenkins was not the only person who became emotional on Monday. Her sister, Shaneah, who was dating Lloyd at the time of his death, left the courtroom in tears at one point.

Separately Monday, Robert Paradis, a high school friend of Hernandez, was seen entering the courthouse. He has been barred from testifying about a .45 caliber gun that he claims Hernandez possessed in April 2013 in Los Angeles, but prosecutors may still call him as a witness.

Another possible witness this week is Alexander Bradley, a former friend who claims Hernandez shot him in Florida in February 2013.

Bradley cannot mention that incident on the stand but can testify that Hernandez possessed a gun, court records show.

Martin Finucane of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Travis Andersen
can be reached at tandersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.