Bad 24 hours for Aaron Hernandez as prosecution narrows in on missing murder weapon

Where there had been a gun before, there was no longer a gun.

Video footage showing Shayanna Jenkins leaving her and Aaron Hernandez's home clutching a black plastic bag.

Paying housekeepers with a check, not cash.

Housecleaner Carla Barbosa points to Aaron Hernandez as she testifies. (AP)
Housecleaner Carla Barbosa points to Aaron Hernandez as she testifies. (AP)

For most of the nearly four weeks of the murder trial of Aaron Hernandez, prosecutor William McCauley has presented the jury with a litany of seemingly inconsequential testimony. Jurors have learned that Attleboro is south of North Attleboro, that Comfort Suites is a hotel, that video showing a police officer ringing a door bell was, in fact, a police officer ringing a door bell.

However, the last 24 hours have been damning for the defense of the former New England Patriots star, as McCauley has used testimony of three housekeepers to strengthen his contention that on June 18, 2013, the day after Odin Lloyd was found dead, Shayanna Jenkins removed from their basement the weapon her fiancé used to murder Lloyd.

Monday, two housekeepers testified that on multiple occasions they'd discovered a gun hidden under a guest bedroom mattress in Hernandez's basement. Marilia Prinholato described the gun as about 30 to 40 centimeters long.

An autopsy determined Lloyd was shot with a .45 caliber gun, which has never been found.

Grazielli Silva also testified that she discovered a gun hidden under the same mattress. Silva testified she discovered another gun in a sock drawer and yet another in a pair of pants.

Tuesday, yet another housekeeper Carla Barbosa testified that she saw Jenkins leaving the house on June 18 holding a black trash bag "close to her," with "her arms around it." Later, Barbosa said she cleaned the guest bedroom, but there was no gun under the mattress.

When police searched Hernandez's home in the days following Lloyd's murder, no guns were discovered.

Furthermore, earlier in the trial Shaneah Jenkins, Lloyd's girlfriend who went to Hernandez's home the morning of June 18, testified that her sister asked to borrow her car that day because she needed to go to the bank to get money to pay the housekeepers. That's when Shayanna Jenkins put a black trash bag in a car and left, returning some 30 minutes later, according to testimony.

However, in Monday's testimony, McCauley produced a check for $300 Jenkins had given to Silva for work done on June 18.

While much of what was presented remains circumstantial, McCauley is piecing together a narrative explaining away the biggest hole in his case against Hernandez: the lack of a murder weapon.

Jurors now know that a gun similar to the one alleged to have been used to kill Lloyd had been seen inside Hernandez's basement, that something was removed from that same basement the day after Lloyd was killed and that Shayanna Jenkins' story about needing to leave the house to go to the bank that same day is suspect.

Shayanna Jenkins was not in court Tuesday. Already charged with perjury for lying to a grand jury, she's been granted immunity if she testifies against Hernandez. There's no indication that she will.