Between 3:23 and 3:27 a.m., workers nearby reported hearing gunshots. At 3:29, a camera showed an Altima pulling into Hernandez's driveway, about a half a mile from the death scene.

Three people got out of the car, and Lloyd was not one of them.

Nine days later, Hernandez was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and other weapon-related charges. He has pleaded not guilty.

Investigators believe Hernandez's simmering anger over two incidents at a nightclub and his apartment led him to allegedly kill Lloyd two nights later, CNN has learned.

One of the incidents involved Lloyd seeing guns and ammunition stored at Hernandez' so-called flop house, his apartment in Franklin, Massachusetts. The other thing that set off Hernandez was a conversation Lloyd had with two men at a club earlier that night, June 14, 2013, a source tells CNN.

The cumulative effect apparently reached a breaking point for reasons that most people would find inconsequential. The source would not say what that was, but compared it to something as insignificant as the spilled drink that allegedly led to the 2012 Boston double slaying.

Lloyd's killing did not involve possible knowledge of that double slaying as investigators previously considered, the source added.

In April, Ortiz and Wallace were also charged in Lloyd's slaying. They, too, have pleaded not guilty.

Life in a jail cell

Today, Hernandez is behind bars in a 7-by-10 foot cell. Sheriff Thomas Hodgson, who runs the jail where Hernandez is incarcerated, says he has talked to inmate No. 174954 at length.

Hernandez, Hodgson says, spends his time reading the Bible and another book he suggested, "Tuesdays With Morrie."

Hernandez taken from jail cell and moved briefly to hospital

Hodgson has encouraged Hernandez to turn to his childhood anchor, his late father. The father-son relationship has come up in their conversations and could have played a role in his checkered past.

"His dad clearly kept him grounded," Hodgson said. "When you lose that person and there's no one there to help you process it in a healthy way, at 16 you're going to reach out to anybody that's older than you to deal with it."

Even behind bars, Hernandez has found trouble. He has been accused of getting into a physical altercation with another inmate and is facing charges of assault and threatening a guard's life.

That's on top of three murder charges, the lawsuit claiming he shot his friend in the face and three civil suits from the families of his alleged victims, among other things.

As for the Lloyd case, Hernandez's lawyers contend the circumstantial evidence is full of gaps.

"There's certainly a lot of what I would call smoke. There's no doubt about it," defense lawyer Jamie Sultan said during a June 16 hearing. "But that's not probable cause that he committed murder. And you can't just throw a bunch of stuff against the wall and say that's good enough."

No murder weapon has been found, and while at one point it seemed likely that Ortiz would be a key witness against Hernandez, there are now serious questions about his credibility.

And the text Lloyd sent to his sister? The jury may never hear about it.