Defense in NFL Murder Trial May Have 'Backfired'
Defense Rests in Aaron Hernandez Trial After Just One Day
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2015 6:30 PM CDT
Former New England Patriots football player Aaron Hernandez looks toward the gallery during his trial in Fall River, Mass., Monday, April 6, 2015.    (Ted Fitzgerald)

(Newser) – The defense rested today in the murder trial of former NFL star Aaron Hernandez after calling just three witnesses—one of whom may have hurt the man's case, Yahoo Sports reports. Hernandez, once a New England Patriots tight end, is accused of killing semipro ballplayer Odin Lloyd in June of 2013 near Hernandez's Massachusetts home. Hernandez had a $40 million NFL contract at the time and Lloyd was dating Hernandez's fiancee's sister, the AP notes. The defense strategy was to "shift blame" to two other suspects, Connecticut residents Carlos Ortiz and Ernest Wallace, the Hartford Courant reports. In that vein, Tufts University professor David Greenblatt was called to testify about the effects of PCP.

The defense tried to show that PCP made Wallace and Ortiz violently psychotic that night. But under cross-examination, Greenblatt admitted there's no proof they took the drug, suffered psychotic effects, or turned violent because of it. And video of them that night doesn't help: "You just can't tell" if they're high, he says. The case also turns on a piece of blue bubblegum carrying Hernandez's DNA. It was found in a trash bin, stuck to a shell casing that matches shells from the murder scene. An Enterprise employee says she found the items in a rental car Hernandez returned the day after Lloyd's death, and threw them away. The defense's case didn't last a day, while the prosecution's took months and involved 131 witnesses, CNN reports.