NECN: The last hours of Odin Lloyd's life

NECN: The last hours of Odin Lloyd's life
September 5, 2013, 3:30 pm
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From NECN.com

In a grainy and dark video, Odin Lloyd is enjoying a game of pool with his best friends in a basement.

Odin attempts to make an impossible shot despite the household items in his way.

"I hope you got that," he says.

"He could be talking to you and everybody around could just feel his personality and want to be around him," Shaquilla Lloyd, Odin's little sister, says.

In this video, Odin and his friends were unknowingly hanging out for the very last time that Sunday, June 16.

It would be a tragic contrast to the scene on Monday, June 17, when Odin's bullet riddled body was discovered in a desolate industrial park in North Attleboro, Mass.

"When I think about it, I have images that come and that's what's hard for me," Shaquilla says.

Instead, Lloyd's loved ones choose to remember him as a chubby-cheeked baby growing up in St. Croix and later immigrating to Boston. They say Odin often flashed a warm smile, foretelling his future ease with making friends and making people laugh.

"Everybody loved O. He was just a big goof. Everybody knew him somehow. If it wasn't football, it was from laughter," Darryl Hodge says.

Odin and Darryl became fast friends while playing football for the John D O'Bryant School of Math and Science, an exam school in Boston that invites a select group of students to attend after a series of academic tests.

Shaquilla recalls her big brother Odin becoming a football star at a young age.

"He was the first seventh grader of course to make varsity and do it well," she says.

After high school, Darryl went on to college, but a lack of money kept Odin from pursuing his college football dreams in Delaware.

"He was like, 'Financial aid is killing me. I'm trying to find a way. I want to go to school. I want to play ball,'" Darryl recalls.

Odin and Darryl quenched their desire to play football as adults by reuniting with their high school coach Mike Branch, who was leading the semi-professional football team, the Boston Bandits, a team where the players had to pay to play - a much different football experience than that of Odin's new friend, New England Patriots star tight end Aaron Hernandez.

Odin and Aaron were introduced to each other by Aaron's finance, Shayanna Jenkins and Odin's girlfriend Shaneah Jenkins.

Darryl says Odin did talk to him about Aaron.

"It was ill of him to come back and bring us stories, like, little small stories, like, yo, it's cool, dude is down to Earth. Like that life, to have everything - to be a New England Patriot, like play in front of millions, to have your jersey in stores - all of that meant something. It mattered. He felt good. He didn't have any - what I took from it was he didn't have any issue being around him, and that's why it's so devastating that it has taken the course that it has because I've heard nothing but good stories about him" he says.

Darryl is devastated because he vividly recalls his best friend's final weekend alive before Aaron Hernandez allegedly shot Odin to death.

It was Friday, June 14, when prosecutors claim Hernandez and Lloyd partied together at Rumor night club in Boston, and during that evening, Hernandez reportedly became upset with Lloyd for speaking with people the NFL star didn't like.

Darryl says Odin didn't discuss any disagreement with Hernandez at Rumor, but did explain how he was allowed to drive one of Hernandez's car's home at the end of the Friday evening.

"He said it was a rental. I was told like Friday ended up being a wild night, so I was just told to drop it off at the Enterprise or whatever the case may be, so I didn't really ask. Whatever their relationship was, what our relationship was, I left it alone. Whatever happened between them, that was what he was told," Darryl says.

Saturday, June 15, Odin and Darryl played in a Boston Bandits football game. At the end of the game, Odin, who usually travels by bike, exited the stadium inside Hernandez's vehicle.

"On Saturday, he drove past us after the game. I'm pulling off my stuff and he's like, 'honk, honk,'" Darryl says. "He's like, 'Yo, I'm going to link with you.' We shook hands and he drove off."

They linked up on Sunday, June 16. Darryl says Odin picked him up after church in Hernandez's rental car.

"We had a great day Sunday. We drove around for a while. We went down by his house and hung out," Darryl says.

During that time, Odin received a text from his employers at a landscaping company.

"Finally got the word he has work. He said, 'Alright, well, let's break out. Time to go home,'" Darryl says.

Then there was another text to Odin - this time it allegedly came from Aaron Hernandez.

"It was like, 'Hey, you want to hang out?' Pretty much duplicate what was done, like I guess he went out on Friday night as well, so the text was like 'Hey,' like, get out and shoot the breeze again, let's paint the town on Sunday night. Whatever the case may be. Cool. He got the text, he showed me the text and was just like, he was in a dilemma, 'do I go out or do I stay home? I got to work in the morning,'" Darryl recalls.

The prosecution in the Hernandez murder case claims Aaron Hernandez traveled to Boston to pick Lloyd up that night. Lloyd's youngest sister says she was outside the family's home when that happened.

"We were outside talking for a little whlie. He said a couple of things to me. Then he went to the store. He came back and said he wanted to talk to me about something and then he was like 'forget it' and then he left," Shaquilla recalls.

Sometime later, Shaquilla received a text from her brother. Prosecutors claim Odin asked Shaquilla in the text message, "Did you see who I was with?"

She replied, "Who?"

And Odin texted, "NFL just so you know."

After a passerby discovered Odin's body, North Attleboro police first called Shaquilla's cell phone. They asked for her mother.

"I kind of knew something was wrong definitely, but not what it was. In my head, I thought honestly it was like a car accident or something. I didn't think it was as deep as ..." Shaquilla says, trailing off.

"I got the call like Monday, late Monday night from his sister, asking me if I saw him or spoke with him. I was like, 'Well, no. He was supposed to go to work this morning,' and she was like 'I don't think he went to work because the truck is still outside.' And I was like 'Why is the truck outside?' And then she said police were coming down there," Darryl says.

North Attleboro police traveled to Boston to inform the family of Odin's murder.

"I spoke to them a little bit and they started to give off a weird vibe, like, you knew they were going to say something. So I left. I needed to walk to clear my head. And before I could even leave the steps, I heard the screams. My mom screaming. My sister screaming. I just knew," Shaquilla says.

"I walked into the house and I myself broke down. Walked into the house, living room packed. Mom's on the chair. She was on the couch. And she just grabbed me. I fall to my knees because I am holding her. She's like, 'Who kill off my soon?' 'I don't have an answer for you.' I didn't have an answer for her," Darryl says.

The video of Odin's final hours before his death is so precious to Odin's loved ones because it's rare - he didn't like people to take pictures of him.

While the legal course continues against Odin's accused killer and former friend, Aaron Hernandez, Odin's family and friends everyday wear bracelets that read, "Rest in Paradise" and buttons "Legends Never Die Rest Easy Big O."

"If you didn't meet him, you missed out definitely. If he walked into your life for even an hour, he impacted it in some way. I'm just so glad that I wasn't a friend or a cousin. I was his sister 'cause now I'll have the memories for the rest of my life," Shaquilla says.