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July 4, 2013

Cops: Evidence found in secret Hernandez apartment

WRENTHAM (AP) — Aaron Hernandez’s home address was no secret after the media camped outside the massive house for days, and cameras caught him leaving, hands cuffed behind his back, when he was arrested for murder.

But police didn’t know about his “flop house.”

A tip from a friend of the former New England Patriots tight end led authorities to the apartment about 11 miles away. Subsequent searches turned up boxes of ammunition and clothing that police believe could help prove the murder case against Hernandez, according to court documents.

The items were found June 26, the day Hernandez was arrested for allegedly orchestrating the death of Odin Lloyd, according to search warrant records filed in Wrentham court.

Hernandez, 23, has pleaded not guilty. His attorneys have said the evidence against him is circumstantial and he’s eager to clear his name. A message requesting comment on the documents was left yesterday with a spokesman for Hernandez’s legal team.

Hernandez’s two-bedroom apartment, which went for $1,200 a month, was located in a three-story complex in Franklin, a few towns over from his North Attleborough house.

Police learned about it from Hernandez’s friend, Carlos Ortiz. Prosecutors say Ortiz was with Hernandez and Ernest Wallace when they drove with Lloyd to an industrial park where Lloyd was shot. Police haven’t said who shot Lloyd.

Ortiz, who lives in Hernandez’s hometown of Bristol, Conn, has since been charged with carrying a firearm the day of the shooting. Wallace is charged with being an accessory after the fact in the slaying

According to the documents, Bristol police interviewed Ortiz the day before Hernandez was arrested. He told them “Hernandez has another address that not many people know about,” and that he thought he’d left a cellphone there.

Police initially got the search warrant to look for Ortiz’s phone. But as they spotted additional items in the apartment — including a box of ammunition on an end table — they applied for additional warrants for the residence, and for a Hummer parked outside.

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