Former Patriots star charged with murder
Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez was charged with murder on Wednesday following the shooting death of a man whose bloodied body was found dumped less than a mile from his home.
- Published: 27/06/2013 at 02:49 AM
- Newspaper section: news
Aaron Hernandez of the New England Patriots reacts after a catch at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Hernandez was charged with murder on Wednesday following the shooting death of a man whose bloodied body was found dumped less than a mile from his home.
After days of speculation linking the 23-year-old tight end to the killing of Odin Lloyd on June 17, police officers swooped on Hernandez at his $1.7 million luxury mansion early Wednesday before leading him away in handcuffs.
The multi-millionaire sports star was later arraigned at Attleborough District Court on charges of murder, unlawful possession of a firearm, and possession of a large capacity firearm, Massachusetts State Police said.
Prosecutor William McCauley told a packed hearing Hernandez and two other unidentified associates had murdered Lloyd in an execution-style slaying because he was angry his friend had spoken with people he "had troubles with."
Lloyd was driven to a remote industrial park and shot five times -- including once as he lay on the ground, raising an arm in a vain effort to protect himself.
"He orchestrated his execution," McCauley said.
A lawyer for Hernandez requested that the former NFL star be freed on bail pending trial but the request was denied by the judge.
Shortly after his arrest, the Patriots announced in a statement on their website that Hernandez had been released from his contract.
"A young man was murdered last week and we extend our sympathies to the family and friends who mourn his loss," the statement said.
"Words cannot express the disappointment we feel knowing that one of our players was arrested as a result of this investigation.
"We realize that law enforcement investigations into this matter are ongoing. We support their efforts and respect the process. At this time, we believe this transaction is simply the right thing to do."
Suspicion fell on Hernandez almost immediately after the discovery of the 27-year-old Lloyd's body at an industrial park close to the NFL player's home in North Attleborough, roughly 40 miles (65 kilometers) outside Boston.
ABC, citing police sources, reported that a video security system at the home of Hernandez had been deliberately destroyed and that the portable phone a lawyer for Hernandez gave to police had been smashed into pieces.
At Wednesday's court hearing, McCauley said surveillance video from Hernandez's house had captured him walking through his home holding a pistol in the hours after the killing.
Reports earlier said Hernandez had also hired specialist house cleaners to scrub down his home in the days after the killing.
Law enforcement sources told the Fox station and ABC that Hernandez and Lloyd had been seen at several nightclubs before the killing. Hernandez's neighbors reportedly heard gunshots shortly after 3:00 am on June 17.
Hernandez, who has played three seasons for the Patriots, received a $12.5 million bonus when he sealed a contract extension last August which took him up to 2018.
He made 79 catches for 910 yards and seven touchdowns in the 2011 season but played only 10 games last year due to injuries, making 51 catches for 483 yards and five touchdowns.
About the author
- Writer: AFP
- Position: News agency