IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Aaron Hernandez Trial: Box in the Basement, Jury's Road Trip, Other Key Moments

A joint, a box, and a bus ride: Here's a look at some of the biggest moments of the one-time New England Patriots star's murder trial.
/ Source: NBC News

A joint, a box, and a bus ride.

Those were some of the things that made headlines in the trial of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, who was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison Wednesday.

Here's a look at some of the marquee moments of the ex-NFL star's trial:

The box in the basement

Odin Lloyd, the man whom Hernandez was convicted of killing, was dating the sister of Hernandez's ex-fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins. Jenkins was compelled to testify after the prosecution granted her immunity, but what she said raised more questions than answers. She testified that Hernandez had asked her the day after the shooting to remove a box from their basement. Jenkins said she didn't look inside the box before she dumped it in a trash can.

“I believe he said it was important, I’m not too sure," she testified on March 30.

Prosecutors said the box — which had a trash bag over it — may have contained evidence, including the murder weapon, which was never found.

The joint

While no murder weapon was ever discovered, the prosecution pointed to other evidence in its case against Hernandez: Surveillance video at his Massachusetts home shortly before the shooting that shows him holding what appears to be a gun. They also pointed to cell phone records and a joint near Lloyd's body in the industrial park in which he was found dead that had Hernandez and Lloyd's DNA on it.

Defense lawyer James Sultan told jurors on April 7 in his closing arguments that the joint was indicative of nothing other than the two men's love for smoking pot, calling them future brothers-in-law who "shared a passion — a passion for marijuana."

Sultan acknowledged for the first time in his closing arguments that Hernandez was indeed present when Lloyd was killed, but he painted him as a "kid" who had witnessed something terrible.

"He was a 23-year-old kid who witnessed a shocking killing, committed by someone he knew. He didn't know what to do, so he just put one foot in front of the other," Sultan told jurors.

Assistant District Attorney William McCauley, the lead prosecutor, shot back at that in his closing arguments, telling jurors to examine all the evidence presented.

"I'm asking you to look at the evidence. The evidence tells the story of what happened," he said. "He committed that crime."

The jury's field trip

In the middle of the trial, jurors got out of their seats in the Fall River, Massachusetts, court room, and boarded a bus bound for locations critical to the case.

They went to Hernandez's home, the Boston street where Lloyd lived, and the place where his bullet-riddle body was found, walking through a snowy gravel lot in the cold to get there. The entire trip lasted about three and a half hours, and was orchestrated by prosecutors, who hoped the field trip would help jurors better understand the evidence. It included a 45-minute tour of Hernandez's North Attleboro mansion.

— Elizabeth Chuck