Patriots Aaron Hernandez Charged With First Degree Murder [VIDEO]
New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to first degree murder and five gun related charges and being held on no bail in the death of Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old semi-pro football player.
Appearing in Attleboro, Massachusetts District Court, Hernandez was formally charged after surveillance video from his home showing him with a gun believed to be the murder weapon. Some of the footage is missing according to the prosecutor.
The prosecutor says Lloyd was shot in arms, side and twice in chest by Hernandez who was upset about Lloyd's actions at a Boston club a few nights earlier. In laying out the case against Hernandez the prosecutor says several different surveillance cameras place Hernandez in a car before and after the murder. Gunshots were heard in an industrial park where Hernandez was seen with and without Lloyd and also in a car.
Hernandez, according to the prosecutor, traded in a rental car. Employees at the rental office found a shell casing in the car.
Lloyd was shot and on the ground when shooter stood over him and shot fatal shots.
Hernandez's attorney Michael Fee had no comment about the charges except to say that his client is "OK."
Released By Patriots
Hernandez was released by the team this morning 90 minutes after he was taken from his home in handcuffs Wesdnesday morning, more than a week after Lloyd was found dead in an industrial park a mile from the player's house. In a statement on the team website, the Patriots announced that Hernandez has been released by the team.
The New England Patriots issued the following statement: “A young man was murdered last week and we extend our sympathies to the family and friends who mourn his loss. 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.”
Hernandez was booked at the North Attleboro police station according to a tweet by the Massachusetts State Police.
Arrest Starts The Day
Lloyd's relatives said he was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee, that the two men were friends and that both men were out together on the last night of Lloyd's life.
Hernandez was taken into custody Wednesday around 9 a.m. and put into the back of a police cruiser. He was wearing a white V-neck T-shirt, with his arms inside the shirt and behind his back. He casually spit into some bushes on his way to the car.
The Associated Press emailed a message to his attorney, Michael Fee, who hasn't discussed the investigation beyond acknowledging media reports about it. A message also was left with the Bristol County district attorney's office.
Lloyd's mother, Ursula Ward, declined to comment at her Boston home Wednesday morning.
"Nothing to say, please. Thank you," she said, before shutting the door.
State police have searched in and around Hernandez's home in North Attleborough several times. At least three search warrants have been issued in connection with the investigation.
Reporters have been camped out for days at Hernandez's sprawling home on the Rhode Island line, not far from the stadium where the Patriots play. They reported Tuesday that Hernandez got a visit from Boston defense attorney James Sultan.
The Patriots drafted Hernandez, who is originally from Bristol, Conn., out of the University of Florida in 2010. Last summer, the team gave him a five-year contract worth $40 million.
Patriots spokesman Stacey James has said the team did not anticipate commenting publicly during the police investigation.
Hernandez attorney Michael Fee released a statement yesterday. “Over the past week, our client, Aaron Hernandez, has been the subject of a relentless flood of rumors, misinformation, and false reports in the media. These include the repeated publication of a supposedly confirmed report that an arrest warrant had been issued for Aaron, a report that was exposed as untrue," said Fee. "None of these false reports come from official sources and we appreciate the professionalism and restraint shown by the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office to date with regard to its public statements while its investigation is underway. Out of respect for that ongoing investigation, we will continue to refrain from commenting on its substance.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report