The fiancee of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez testified Monday that she went back to Hernandez despite his infidelity.
The teary testimony came on the same day Shayanna Jenkins was pressed by prosecutors about a box she removed from the basement of their home the day after the killing of Odin Lloyd. It was her second day on the stand, and her testimony wrapped up around 2:45 p.m.
Jenkins, Hernandez's high school sweetheart and the mother of his 2-year-old daughter, spoke of how she began dating Hernandez in middle school. She described their relationship as "on again, off again," noting that Hernandez was a "star" and there were "a lot of girls trying to get his attention."
She broke down and began to cry during questioning from Hernandez's lawyer as she talked about catching him cheating and about making a decision to work things out with him and to "compromise" on his behavior.
"That included infidelity," she said.
Asked by prosecutors if that included Hernandez having a sexual relationship with their babysitter, Jenkins replied, "I guess so... That's not something that I know happened.
"In all honesty, he's a grown man," she added, when asked about Hernandez's marijuana use. "You can't tell a grown man what to do. I accepted the fact that he would grow up and mature in time. That's something I was willing to wait on."
Hernandez watched Jenkins intently for much of her testimony, but she didn't look at him.
The couple exchanged a brief glance before the lunch break as she was leaving the stand and he was being led through a side door to a secure area in the courthouse.
Jenkins also testified Monday that she removed a box from their basement at his request the day after the slaying. She said she believed that the box contained marijuana. Prosecutors have indicated the box could have held the murder weapon, which was never found.
Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to the June 17, 2013, killing of Lloyd, who was dating Jenkins' sister.
Jenkins, wearing her large diamond engagement ring, said Hernandez called her the day after Lloyd was killed and told her it was important to toss the box.
"He told me to go downstairs in our storage room and remove a box from our home," she said. "I believe he said it was important."
Downstairs, Jenkins found a cardboard box, open on top, that had smaller boxes and cardboard inside, obscuring what was underneath, she said. She said she didn't look inside the box or ask Hernandez what was inside. Instead, she said, she put it inside a trash bag and covered it with baby clothing, then borrowed her sister's car and drove around the area.
She said she threw it in a trash bin but could not remember where.
"I found a random dumpster," Jenkins said. "I don't remember exactly where it was located."
Jenkins said she only remembers that she drove through North Attleborough, Plainville and Foxboro, and said the dumpster might have been in a residential area.
"At that point I was nervous," she said. "There were a lot of things going on. Everyone's emotions were kind of on me."
Her testimony contradicts in part what she told a grand jury that investigated the killing, saying then that no one told her to remove the box and that it wasn't important to her to do it. She said then that she did not remember where she threw it away. She was charged with perjury for that testimony and has pleaded not guilty.
Jenkins also testified Monday about what happened after Hernandez came back early the morning of June 18, after he had gone to the North Attleborough police station at the request of investigators.
"I believe I asked him at that point if he did, did it, and he said no," she said.
Prosecutors also asked Jenkins about shoes belonging to Hernandez, but she said she couldn't recall any of them, as he had a lot of shoes.
Jenkins did not look at Hernandez during testimony or when she got off the stand for a break.
Hernandez, 25, is charged with killing Lloyd, who was found shot to death in an industrial park less than a mile from the home Hernandez and Jenkins share.
Jenkins, 25, was compelled to testify under a grant of immunity.
Before jurors were brought in Friday, Jenkins was asked about what she planned to say. On questioning from a prosecutor, she indicated that she discussed getting rid of the box with Hernandez and that it was important for him that she get rid of the box. Prosecutors have said the box may have held evidence or the murder weapon, which was never found.
During Friday's testimony, Jenkins often paused for long periods before answering. She frequently said she could not remember details of the time surrounding Lloyd's killing.
But she also said that after she dropped Hernandez off at a police station to be questioned about Lloyd's death, Hernandez asked her to meet one of his co-defendants, Ernest Wallace, and to give him money. She said she drove to Rhode Island and gave him $500, the maximum she could withdraw from the ATM in the early morning hours of June 18.