Guilty: Former NFL player convicted of murdering friend

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FALL RIVER, Mass. (NBC News) – A former star tight end with the New England Patriots on trial for murdering a friend was found guilty of the crime.

On Wednesday, a jury convicted Aaron Hernandez of first-degree murder for the death of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd in 2013.

Prosecutors say they have never been able to figure out a motive for the killing, but say there was plenty of evidence that linked Hernandez to the crime scene.

Lloyd was dating the sister of Hernandez’ s fiancee and prosecutors say he met with Hernandez and two other men the night he was killed.

They say Hernandez conspired with the men to kill Lloyd and dump his body in an industrial park.

Prosecutors say Lloyd was last seen with Hernandez and Hernandez’s two associates around 2:30 a.m. in a rented silver Nissan Altima.

Surveillance video from security cameras at an industrial park showed an Altima heading toward a secluded area at 3:22 a.m.

At the same time, Lloyd’s phone sent the text messages to his sister, saying he was “with Nfl.”

Between 3:23 and 3:27 a.m., nearby workers reported hearing gunshots. At 3:29, a camera showed an Altima pulling into Hernandez’s driveway, about a half a mile from the death scene.

Three people got out of the car, and Lloyd was not one of them.

Nine days later, Hernandez was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and other weapon-related charges.

Despite certain evidence being barred from trial, a jury convicted Hernandez of the murder, relying heavily on DNA evidence found at the scene.

The judge also blocked any mention that Hernandez has been indicted in connection with two other killings in Boston. Hernandez pleaded not guilty in the shooting deaths of Ernesto Abreu and Safiro Furtado outside a bar in Boston in 2012, and a trial date hasn’t yet been set in that case.

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