NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH, Mass. — A red pick-up truck pulling a matching trailer turned left off Homeward Lane onto Ronald C. Meyer Drive, a leafy stretch lined with three-story homes and manicured lawns, around 8:40 a.m. Friday. Four laborers from Distinctive Landscaping, dressed in red shirts and khaki pants, emptied out of the truck and unloaded mowers and weed whackers. One worker walked past 12 television satellite trucks en route to the gray-shingle house owned by Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez. Cameramen trained their lenses on the man as he pulled weeds. Another mowed the lawn.
Once the yard care was complete, the lead landscaper walked by with a blower. They moved on to another elegant house on the quiet street 40 miles south of Boston, ceding the stage back to Hernandez, who returned hours later, a passenger in the back seat of his white Audi SUV as his lawyer, Michael Fee, drove him up to his garage door.
Little is tidy about what occurred at Hernandez’s house last week. Police believe Hernandez, under investigation for his part in the Monday morning killing of Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old from Dorchester, a rough-and-tumble section of Boston, purposely destroyed the surveillance equipment at his house. He also reportedly handed his cell phone over to authorities “in pieces,” according to ABC News. Authorities want to know why a professional cleaning service came by Monday. He has not cooperated with police as reports swirl that an arrest warrant for obstruction of justice is in the works.
Hernandez, 23, negotiated a narrow path to such luxurious living. Born and raised in Bristol, Conn., a two-hour commute from his current home, Hernandez excelled as a prep star at Bristol Central High, establishing several state receiving records before losing his father, Dennis, to complications from hernia surgery. The roots of Hernandez’s unraveling begin there, by most accounts, but can be traced through his time in Florida and in his first three seasons as a Patriot. Coaches, ranging from Geno Auriemma in AAU, to Urban Meyer in Gainesville, Fla., and now Bill Belichick, have gotten the most out of him on the basketball court and football field, but many also expressed concern about his behavior and maturity as he won a college title and played in a Super Bowl.
“I couldn’t be happier with where I am now and how it worked out,” Hernandez said at Media Day leading up to the Super Bowl in February of 2012. “This is a dream come true.”
Darker days preceded that gilded run. Hernandez was a nightmare for his mother in light of his father’s death, which occurred before senior year in high school.