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NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH, Mass. -- Former New England Patriots tight end
Aaron Hernandez has been charged with murder in the death of 27-year-old
semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd, who was found shot execution-style
about a half-mile from Hernandez's home.
Hernandez appeared in a
packed courtroom number one at Attleboro District Court, where he faces
five charges, the most significant being murder. Hernandez also faces
charges of possessing a firearm without a license, possessing a large
capacity firearm and a firearm without an ID card.
arrested at his home at 8:47 a.m. ET by North Attleborough police and
spent five hours in custody before arriving for his arraignment shortly
before 2 p.m.
Lloyd's body was found on June 17 in an industrial
park by a nighttime jogger, about a half-mile from Hernandez's home.
Police ruled the death a homicide, and Lloyd's family members said
Lloyd, who was shot in the head, and Hernandez were friends who had been
together the previous day.
Just hours after the arrest, the New England Patriots announced in a statement that the team had released Hernandez.
young man was murdered last week and we extend our sympathies to the
family and friends who mourn his loss," the team said in a statement.
"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."
The Patriots were
aware of prior troubles in Hernandez's past before drafting him in the
fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft out of the University of Florida.
After the draft, the Boston Globe
reported Hernandez had failed multiple drug tests, perhaps as many as
six, while at Florida, which led Hernandez to issue a statement
admitting to the one failed test that led to a suspension from the
school's 2008 season opener.
In that statement, which was released
through the Patriots, Hernandez said he was as candid as he could
possibly be with NFL teams about football and his personal life.
"I regret what happened; I learned from it and will make better decisions going forward," Hernandez said in that 2010 statement.
Patriots twice decided Hernandez was worth the risk, first when Bill
Belichick drafted him in the fourth round and again last year when they
offered Hernandez a long-term contract extension that would pay him $40
million through 2018.
Hernandez cried at a news conference
announcing the deal and called that August day one of the best of his
life. He gave $50,000 of his new paycheck to the Myra Kraft Foundation.
"You get changed by the Bill Belichick way; you get changed by the Patriot way," Hernandez said at that news conference.
addition to the criminal charges, Hernandez is also the subject of a
civil complaint filed this month in a U.S. District Court in South
Florida by a Connecticut man. In the complaint filed by attorneys for
30-year-old Alexander S. Bradley, Hernandez is accused of shooting
Bradley in the face while the two were in a vehicle early Feb. 13 after a
night of partying at a strip club in Miami.
Kevin Manahan, USA TODAY Sports