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Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images(FALL RIVER, Mass.) -- Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez and Odin Lloyd were in the "beginning stages of a friendship" at the time of Lloyd's murder, the victim's former girlfriend said on the stand Friday.

It was Shaneah Jenkins, 23, who introduced Lloyd, 27, to Hernandez, she said.

Hernandez, who dated Jenkins' sister, is charged with orchestrating Llyod's murder.

Friday's testimony from Jenkins, now a second-year criminal law student at New England Law School, contradicts the defense team's assertion during opening statements that the two men were good friends.

Lloyd and Hernandez "would hang out and smoke" marijuana in the basement of Hernandez's Massachusetts home, Jenkins said, confirming that Lloyd had rolled joints in her presence.

In opening statements, prosecutors said Hernandez's DNA is on a joint he shared with Lloyd.

When asked if she knew of any time Llyod and Hernandez were together without her, Jenkins said, "just the one I was made aware of the weekend he was murdered."

Emotions ran high as Llyod's relatives sat through testimony earlier Friday from the captain of the North Attleboro, Massachusetts Fire Department, who responded to the 911 call after the body of the semi-pro football player was found after being shot six times.

Capt. John White told the jury he "saw a gentleman laying on the ground" and saw "no breathing" as he walked towards him.

A member of Lloyd's family walked out as White described the condition of the body. Other relatives were seen grabbing tissues.

"This person was laying on their back, face up," White told the jury. "He had no pulse. He was cold to the touch. He was very stiff. You couldn't move his jaw, couldn't move his arms."

White pronounced Lloyd dead at the scene. He said he noticed shell casings around the body and blood coming from the right side of the body.

When graphic photos appeared on screen, Judge Susan Garsh paused and reminded jurors of their purpose.

"These photographs are being introduced solely for the purpose so you can see the position of the body or any visible wounds," Garsh said. "Please put aside any emotions or sympathy they may generate."

The first witness on Friday was William Cambio, who saw Lloyd's body. Cambio works near the North Attleboro industrial park where Lloyd's body was discovered.

Another man who saw Lloyd is David Swithers, president of Advanced Electronic Design, the company to which a high school student ran initially after discovering the body.

"I saw an African-American male," Swithers said. "There were flies around his nostrils."

Prosecutors said in opening arguments Thursday that Lloyd's murder was preceded by a text message from Hernandez, now 25.

On June 17, 2013, Hernandez "told Odin Lloyd he was going to come out to his house that night," Assistant District Attorney Patrick Bomberg told the court.

Hernandez was driving when he and two other men picked up Lloyd from his home and brought him to the industrial park, near the Patriots' home at Gillette Stadium, according to prosecutors.

"Odin Lloyd was shot six times," Bomberg told the jury.

Hernandez's defense attorney, Michael Fee, in the defense's opening statement, declared Hernandez "an innocent man" and said the prosecution's account of events was "just a story and it's not true.”

"Aaron Hernandez did not murder his friend Odin Lloyd," Fee told the jury, claiming investigators prematurely zeroed in on Hernandez to the exclusion of other suspects.

"You come with an open mind," Fee said. "Give us a chance to show you the truth."

Next week, jurors are scheduled to see Hernandez's house, Lloyd's house and other locations relevant to the case.

As Hernandez's trial gathers steam, his former team, the Patriots, will play the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl on Sunday.

Hernandez caught Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's last Super Bowl touchdown pass in the team's 2012 loss to the New York Giants.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


iStock/Thinkstock(SAN DIEGO) -- A hot air balloon with a couple on board taking their wedding vows was forced to make an emergency landing on a San Diego street Thursday afternoon.

The balloon, with a 6-person wedding party on board, began experiencing trouble about 20 minutes into the group’s trip.

The balloon’s pilot, Phil Brandt, was forced to dodge buildings and power lines as the balloon hovered perilously over a valley.

Brandt, a nearly 25-year veteran pilot, fired up the aircraft repeatedly to try to keep it afloat. He eventually directed the balloon towards a tree, which it clipped before making a safe landing on the street below.

“I used that tree to my advantage on the landing actually, to slow the basket down so we could land in the street and come to a stop quick ,” Brandt told local ABC News affiliate KGTV.

The bride’s father, Curtis Cam, told KTGV the balloon ride was a memorable way for his daughter’s wedding to end.

“We ended up coming down, hitting a tree and landing in the street,” he said. “We’re never going to forget the ending of the wedding."


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images(FALL RIVER, Mass.) -- Prosecutors are working Friday to set the scene of the murder that former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez is charged with orchestrating on day two of his trial.

Emotions ran high as relatives of the victim, Odin Lloyd, 27, sat through testimony from the captain of the North Attleboro, Massachusetts Fire Department, who responded to the 911 call after the body of the semi-pro football player was found after being shot six times.

Capt. John White told the jury he "saw a gentleman laying on the ground" and saw "no breathing" as he walked towards him.

A member of Lloyd's family walked out as White described the condition of the body. Other relatives were seen grabbing tissues.

"This person was laying on their back, face up," White told the jury. "He had no pulse. He was cold to the touch. He was very stiff. You couldn't move his jaw, couldn't move his arms."

White pronounced Lloyd dead at the scene. He said he noticed shell casings around the body and blood coming from the right side of the body.

When graphic photos appeared on screen, Judge Susan Garsh paused and reminded jurors of their purpose.

"These photographs are being introduced solely for the purpose so you can see the position of the body or any visible wounds," Garsh said. "Please put aside any emotions or sympathy they may generate."

The first witness on Friday was William Cambio, who saw Lloyd's body. Cambio works near the North Attleboro industrial park where Lloyd's body was discovered.

Another man who saw Lloyd is David Swithers, president of Advanced Electronic Design, the company to which a high school student ran initially after discovering the body.

"I saw an African-American male," Swithers said. "There were flies around his nostrils."

Prosecutors said in opening arguments Thursday that Lloyd's murder was preceded by a text message from Hernandez, now 25.

On June 17, 2013, Hernandez "told Odin Lloyd he was going to come out to his house that night," Assistant District Attorney Patrick Bomberg told the court.

Hernandez was driving when he and two other men picked up Lloyd from his home and brought him to the industrial park, near the Patriots' home at Gillette Stadium, according to prosecutors.

"Odin Lloyd was shot six times," Bomberg told the jury.

Prosecutors said in opening statements that Hernandez's DNA is on a joint he shared with Lloyd.

Hernandez's defense attorney, Michael Fee, in the defense's opening statement, declared Hernandez "an innocent man" and said the prosecution's account of events was "just a story and it's not true.”

"Aaron Hernandez did not murder his friend Odin Lloyd," Fee told the jury, claiming investigators prematurely zeroed in on Hernandez to the exclusion of other suspects.

"You come with an open mind," Fee said. "Give us a chance to show you the truth."

Next week, jurors are scheduled to see Hernandez's house, Lloyd's house and other locations relevant to the case.

As Hernandez's trial gathers steam, his former team, the Patriots, will play the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl on Sunday.

Hernandez caught Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's last Super Bowl touchdown pass in the team's 2012 loss to the New York Giants.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


ABC News(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — Three jurors from the Vanderbilt University rape trial said the evidence that played the biggest role in deciding a guilty verdict was video that prosecutors claimed proved four former Vanderbilt football players sexually assaulted a female classmate.

"As soon as we saw the videos and photographic evidence...we knew exactly who was guilty of what and what we were going to come back with," said juror Todd Easter. "What we knew is that a terrible crime had occurred."
 
The jury took just three hours Tuesday to decide Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey were each guilty of four counts of aggravated rape, one count of attempted aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery. Vandenburg was also found guilty of tampering with evidence and unlawful photography after prosecutors claimed he recorded the sexual assault on his phone, shared it with friends and then tried to cover it up.

Three jurors from the trial sat down with ABC News' 20/20 for an interview the day after the verdict to talk about the case.

"We are absolutely confident in that we made the right decision for every count," said Easter, who was the juror tasked with reading the verdict for the court.

The graphic sexual assault case played out in a Nashville courtroom over 12 days, as prosecutors presented surveillance video they said showed Vandenburg carrying the victim into his dorm, accompanied by Batey and two other former players, Brandon Banks and Jaborian McKenzie. Jurors also had to watch cell phone video that prosecutors claimed Vandenburg recorded as the sexual assault went on in his dorm room.

Prosecutors said the victim, a 21-year-old former neuroscience major and dance team member at the university, was drunk and passed out when the 2013 incident occurred.

Juror Dr. Corbi Milligan told 20/20 that she was "horrified and utterly disgusted" when she watched the footage.

"I do hold [Vandenburg] criminally responsible for what occurred to [the victim] in that room," Milligan said. "It was horrific. ...She was horribly victimized, and as difficult as it was for us to have to render that verdict, it was justice, and it had to be done."

Another juror, Dr. Deirde Young, said the footage made her feel "awful."

"I asked myself, 'how could they do this to that young lady?'" Young added. "There can't be enough explanation to me. I don't know, I think they need to do some real soul searching. I've never experienced anything like these young men."

The defense argued the young men were not guilty of rape, but rather of making a mistake. Batey's lawyer, Worrick Robinson, claimed that college culture put his client in the situation, but the jurors said they weren't buying that argument.

"It's not a defense against a crime, and I think that's the core thing," Milligan said. "Several people, men and women, were seen on the surveillance camera and saw the victim in this state, and no one stopped to think, 'Is she going to be OK?'"

When the jury was dismissed for deliberations, Young said they all broke down in the jury room.

"Maintaining our composure -- it was difficult for all of us," Young said. "I tell you that composure crumbled when the doors closed."

Two other ex-players accused of being involved in the incident, Brandon Banks and Jaborian McKenzie, also face rape and sexual battery charges, but have not yet gone to trial. They have pleaded not guilty.

Vandenburg's childhood friends in California, to whom he sent the videos of the assault, were charged with tampering with evidence after he implored them to get rid of their cell phones. Last week, Joey Quinzio pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor. Miles Finley was offered the same plea agreement, but has so far declined it.

Another Vanderbilt football player, Chris Boyd, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for helping carry the unconscious victim into Vandenburg's dorm.

"I'm curious to know the people we saw on the surveillance video -- the multiple people who saw her -- what are they thinking now," Milligan said. "We are civilized human beings. The rules and responsibility of living in this society is you look out for your fellow man."

Vandenburg and Batey will be sentenced on March 6 and could face decades in prison.

After the verdict was announced this week, Nicholas Zeppos, the chancellor of Vanderbilt University, told ABC News in a statement, "I am deeply troubled that some students who knew or should have known about the incident that led to this week's convictions failed to take any positive action. This is not the culture at Vanderbilt, and it must never be repeated." Read the chancellor's full statement at the end of this article.

The victim in this case, who testified against her attackers, released a statement thanking police and prosecutors for bringing them to justice, and calling them her heroes. For District Attorney Glenn Funk, the guilty verdict carries a profound message to victims of sexual crimes.

"I hope this verdict sends a message to victims of sexual violence...that you will never be alone, that we will back you up, and that ultimately the system will work and you will be able to get justice," Funk said.

Full Statement from the Chancellor of Vanderbilt to ABC News:

Earlier this week, a Nashville jury found two former Vanderbilt students guilty of a vicious attack against a fellow student. The victim showed exceptional courage and strength in pursuing justice through the criminal trial. At this time, we are called upon again to consider as a community how we can ensure that what happened to the survivor of this terrible crime never happens again.

The heinous conduct described at trial was not the product of Vanderbilt's culture. On the contrary, such conduct is the very opposite of the values Vanderbilt stands for and our students hold dear. We abhor sexual misconduct, and we subject every student to the same standards.

Yet we must acknowledge that sexual assaults occur on college campuses across the country, and that Vanderbilt is no exception. But Vanderbilt can make a difference, and we must make a difference, because the consequences of sexual violence—shattered dreams and shattered lives—are intolerable.

As your Chancellor, I am personally committed to ending sexual misconduct at Vanderbilt, giving victims the support and assistance they need and sanctioning those found responsible. To end sexual misconduct at Vanderbilt we must all commit ourselves every day to our values, including respecting and caring for one another and holding accountable those who violate our standards. The university has taken numerous concrete steps to address sexual misconduct, including updating the university's policy against Sexual Misconduct and Other Forms of Power-Based Personal Violence; requiring all incoming students to complete PETSA and Alcohol.Edu training; making sure students and responsible employees know how and to whom to report sexual misconduct incidents; encouraging all members of our community to participate in the Green Dot bystander intervention program; opening a new Project Safe Center; and adding to our staff of prevention educators and victim resource specialists. We will administer a new campus climate survey this spring. And we will continue our comprehensive ongoing efforts to raise awareness of the importance of every student intervening when another student is at risk or in distress.

We can all commit to this never happening again, but ending sexual misconduct requires more. It requires commitment to our core principles, which demand that sexual harassment and sexual assault will never be ignored or downplayed or get lost in a bureaucracy. We must individually and collectively create a culture of transparency, support and cooperation.

The university's response to this tragic incident demonstrates our commitment to these principles. When the university reviewed surveillance video that raised suspicions about the actions of certain students, we immediately commenced an investigation and promptly reported our concerns to the Nashville police. We have worked closely with the Davidson County District Attorney's Office ever since. Not for a second did anyone consider sweeping the incident under the rug or according special treatment to our student-athletes. Indeed, if not for actions taken by Vanderbilt, the incident may never have been discovered and the defendants never prosecuted.

I will not be satisfied until campus sexual assaults are a thing of the past. And I want Vanderbilt to be at the forefront of that effort. I have therefore authorized Project Safe to augment its educational and prevention programs and victim support. Please visit the Project Safe Center or click on the Project Safe website to learn more. I encourage every member of the Vanderbilt community to get involved with Green Dot at Vanderbilt. Attend an upcoming Green Dot training session, the next of which is Feb. 20, or click on the Green Dot website to request information about bystander intervention. Make a personal commitment to stand up, not stand by, when you or another member of our community is at risk.

We come to Vanderbilt to be part of a community of exceptional individuals who learn from, support and take care of one another. We must never forget this. I am deeply troubled that some students who knew or should have known about the incident that led to this week's convictions failed to take any positive action. This is not the culture at Vanderbilt, and it must never be repeated.

I urge anyone who has been a victim of sexual misconduct, or who knows a victim, to contact the Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action & Disability Services department, whose director, Anita Jenious, is Vanderbilt's Title IX coordinator. EAD investigates sexual misconduct reports, coordinates interim services for students who need them and determines responsibility for violations of the university's Sexual Misconduct policy. Whether the incident occurred yesterday, last week or last year, let EAD know so it can take action.

Above all, I ask each and every student to contribute the best of yourselves to our Vanderbilt community. Vanderbilt must and will play a leadership role in ending sexual misconduct. But it is only by coming together as a community that we can effect the deep and lasting change that this moment demands.

Watch the full story on ABC News' 20/20 Friday night at 12:35 a.m. ET.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


iStock Editorial/Thinkstock (HOUSTON) — Jockey Roman Chapa is facing a felony charge of unlawful influence on racing based largely on a photograph taken during a race earlier this month.

When Chapa won the Jan. 17 race riding Quiet Acceleration at the Sam Houston Race Park in Texas, a snapshot of the photo finish circulated. He reportedly asked that the image be taken down, raising suspicions.

Prosecutors now allege that the photo showed Chapa, 43, holding a buzzer in his left hand. Buzzers are used to send an electrical shock to the horse.

Barry Abrams of ESPN’s In the Gate said the alleged device was intended to startle the horse and make him run faster.

“It doesn’t really hurt the horse,” Abrams said. “It more gets his attention. …It’s just meant to kind of startle him.”

Investigators said the jockey told them that the picture was photoshopped by someone trying to frame him.

Abrams said incidents like this were not common.

“Just about all the tracks these days have stewards positioned all over the rack track -- both with their own eyes and with cameras everywhere -- so it’s very difficult nowadays to execute such a thing effectively,” he said.

Chapa’s track record is questionable. In 2007, he was suspended for using an electrical device on a horse. And in 1994, he was suspended for using a nail to make a horse run faster.

Chapa did not respond to requests for comment by ABC News.

Andrea Young, president of the Sam Houston Race Park, said in a statement that the park was “pleased” with how fast the investigation had moved.

“These sorts of actions have no place in horse racing, and are a disservice to the tens of thousands of people involved in our sport who play by the rules every day. We will continue to support this investigation in every way possible,” Young said.

If he is convicted, Chapa faces up to 10 years in prison.


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