So now do we add, “Did you shoot a guy in the face?” to the questions we pose to Aaron Hernandez at the start of training camp?
Tap the brakes for a moment on the rumor and innuendo circulating around Hernandez and his knowledge of what happened to Odin Lloyd.
Speaking in general terms, where would things be in an investigation like this one in terms of police work?
Speaking to a law enforcement official on Wednesday, it was explained to me that the autopsy portion of the investigation is already or soon will be underway.
Cause of death, DNA tests, marks left on the body, hair and fingernail samples, etc., would be performed. The crime scene would have been established as well and investigated and then cross-matching of DNA and other physical evidence will be performed.
Additionally, cell phones for all parties involved -- and the deceased -- will have been taken into evidence and who called whom when will be determined. Cell phone records are indispensable in these cases, I was told. As a result, investigators will send “preservation letters” to cell providers requesting the provider to lock all information down for a period of time so that if a phone is destroyed, the information is still retrievable on a server somewhere.
If there is video surveillance at either the industrial park where the body was found -- and it’s inevitable there was, because surveillance cameras are a necessity to protect industrial park businesses -- or Hernandez’ home, that will be gone over closely to determine what activity was witnessed at either place.
Computer hard drives will also be investigated. Any effort to alter cell phones or computers inevitably looks awful when raised as evidence because it would represent what’s referred to as “consciousness of guilt.”
Investigators will also be interviewing neighbors along Hernandez’ street to see if there was any noise Sunday night or Monday prior to the discovery of the body Monday afternoon.
If a person of interest in the case is not speaking on advice of his lawyer, a subpoena to submit testimony before a grand jury would be executed. The individual would then be compelled to either talk or plead the fifth.
At this juncture during the interview process, the people involved are in a difficult spot because there are many moving parts for them. And rising above all is the instinct for self-preservation.
For an individual who may not have been directly involved in the commission of the crime, things can still go sideways any number of ways. Or already may have. During early interviews with investigators, any detail that gets tweaked or isn’t shared can lead to an individual putting himself in a position where he is an accessory after the fact. Or viewed as such.
Things can get very sticky indeed.