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New England Patriots team owner Bob Kraft testified today at the trial of former TE Aaron Hernandez, who is being tried for the murder of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd in 2013.
According to ESPN.com, Kraft said in the trial that he spoke with Hernandez on June 20 (six days before Hernandez was arrested) and recalled asking Hernandez if he “was involved” in Lloyd’s murder.
“I knew that an incident had transpired, and I wanted to know whether he was involved,” Kraft said. “I considered him part of our extended family, and I wanted to get him help.
Kraft said Hernandez told him that he was innocent and that he was at a club at the time Lloyd was killed.
“He said he was not involved, that he was innocent and that he hoped that the time of the murder incident came out because, I believe, he said he was in a club,” Kraft said.
After numerous legal troubles while he was a star TE at Florida in college, the talented Hernandez dropped to the 4th round of the 2010 NFL draft when the Patriots scooped him up and paired him with future All-Pro TE Rob Gronkowski.
Together the pair took the NFL by storm for several years using innovative double-TE sets and won three straight AFC East division titles for the Patriots and made it to the Super Bowl in the 2011 season.
In three years with the Patriots, Hernandez recorded 175 receptions for 1,956 yards and 18 TDs. Hernandez and Gronkowski are the first pair of tight ends in NFL history to catch 5 touchdown passes in consecutive seasons with the same team.
In 2011 they also set NFL records for yardage, receptions, and touchdowns by tight ends on one team, combining for 169 receptions, 2,237 yards, and 24 touchdowns.