By Scott Malone and Daniel Lovering FALL RIVER, Mass. (Reuters) - Opening statements are set for Thursday in the first murder trial facing former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez this year, when Massachusetts prosecutors will seek to prove he fatally shot a semi-professional football player in 2013. Hernandez, 25, was a rising star in the National Football League with a $41 million contract when he was arrested in June 2013 and charged with the execution-style killing of acquaintance Odin Lloyd near his North Attleborough, Massachusetts, home in June 2013. The Patriots, who face the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl on Sunday, cut Hernandez hours after his arrest. Hernandez, who has pleaded not guilty to all three killings, will be tried at Fall River Superior Court in Fall River, Massachusetts, in a trial expected to last six to 10 weeks.