"NFL. Just so you know," he texted his sister to let her know who he was with.
About 3:25 a.m. -- two minutes after the message -- gunshots shattered the quiet night, according to witnesses.
Guns and bubblegum
Not five minutes passed before a surveillance camera captured video of Hernandez carrying a gun as he arrived back at his home, prosecutors said.
He was with two other people. Lloyd was not among them.
A murder weapon is usually a key piece of evidence in a homicide case, and investigators have not been able to find one.
Hernandez at least once had a Glock .45, prosecutors said, entering a cell phone photo into evidence of him posing in the mirror with it.
And police have seized .45-caliber ammunition and an ammunition magazine that were in a Hummer SUV he drove and a condo he rented.
Hernandez and the other two later took the car back to the rental company.
There, the defendant offered an attendant a piece of blue Bubblicious gum, prosecutors said.
What appeared to be a piece of chewed blue gum was left lying inside the vehicle, prosecutors said. Next to it was a spent .45-caliber casing.
The casing matches the empty shells Investigators recovered near Lloyd's body, prosecutors said.
If that gum was in Hernandez's mouth, DNA tests will connect him to the casings, prosecutors said.
When investigators inspected Lloyd's body, they found keys in his pockets to a rental car registered in Hernandez's name.
A fallen star
Hernandez had been expected to be one of the keys to the New England Patriots' stellar offense, a vital cog on a team that many expected could contend for a Super Bowl title.
Now he's sitting in a Massachusetts jail cell.
His stoic expression in videos after his arrest, including when he was in court, gave little indication of angst, sorrow or inner turmoil.
Yet the fact he's behind bars, charged with such a heinous crime, has shaken many in New England.
His former team said firing Hernandez was "simply the right thing to do."
On Friday, the team took another step in cutting its ties to the former University of Florida star, and letting fans do the same. Having already taken his No. 81 off the shelves, the team announced people who had already bought such a jersey could exchange it for free for another player's at the New England Patriots ProShop the weekend of July 6 and 7.
"We know that children love wearing their Patriots jerseys, but may not understand why parents don't want them wearing their Hernandez jerseys anymore," team spokesman Stacey James said. "We hope this opportunity to exchange those jerseys ... will be well-received by parents."