Aaron Hernandez has been arrested and charged with murder today, pleading not guilty during his arraignment. The New England Patriots have also announced that they have cut ties with the former star tight end as a result of the incident two hours before the arrest.
The connection between Hernandez and the victim of the murder, 27 year old Odin Lloyd, was revealed earlier in the week by his parents, who said that Lloyd was dating the sister of Hernandez’ girlfriend Shayanna Jenkins. The identity of Odin’s girlfriend has been kept secret, so we do not have her name.
Odin Lloyd was a semi-professional football player for the Boston Bandits, and reportedly knew all three men he was seen at the bar with the night of his death. Hernandez became the focal point of the investigation almost immediately after his body was found roughly one mile from his residence.
The state of Massachusetts announced Hernandez arrest occurred around 8:45 this morning (eastern time) according to the state police Twitter account. Authorities are refraining from discussing the details of the arrest until the case is presented in court Wednesday in Attleboro.
The New England Patriots released a statement on Aaron Hernandez and his release from the team shortly after they cut ties with the former budding star. “Words cannot express the disappointment we feel knowing that one of our players was arrested as a result of this investigation,” the Patriots said in a statement. “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.”
Police officers had searched the home and surrounding area of Aaron Hernandez several times throughout the week long investigation leading up to his being charged with murder earlier today. They removed ten bags of evidence in a search earlier this week, and it seems they found enough evidence to bring charges against Aaron Hernandez for the murder of Odin Lloyd.
Suspicions of the involvement of Hernandez in the murder began to rise when he began to act in an uncooperative manner with investigators. He smashed surveillance equipment at his house, as well as his cell phone prior to handing it over to authorities. Rumors of an arrest warrant for obstruction of justice were rumored earlier in the week, although they never came to fruition.
An arrest in regards to the murder began to look likely yesterday when the swarm of reporters stationed outside of his massive home reported seeing Boston defense attorney James Sultan enter the house to meet with Hernandez.
Investigators reported that that Lloyd was shot multiple times in his back and chest, discovered after his body was found in an industrial park near the home of Aaron Hernandez. The two were seen fighting together at a night club prior to their leaving together the night of the murder.
A video was reportedly found by investigators showing Hernandez walking around his home after the two returned from their night out with a gun in hand. On the tape he says “you can’t trust anyone anymore” while waving the gun around. Neighbors had reported earlier in the investigation that they heard gun shots which sounded like they came from Hernandez house that night.
Hernandez opened the door to his home shirtless, and let authorities inside, he was later escorted into a squad car with a white shirt over hands that were cuffed behind his back. CBS News provides us with a video of the arrest and escort to the police vehicle.
The lawyer of Aaron Hernandez believes that the charges of murder are ‘circumstantial’ and that he has ‘never fled’ throughout the investigation. He also stated that Aaron Hernandez has never been charged with a violent crime prior to this.
Behavior while at the University of Florida had raised red flags about his anger issues prior to his slipping to the fourth round of the NFL draft in 2010. Largely drug use and anger issues were concerns for scouts at the time, although he hadn’t officially been charged with any violent crimes to this point.
New England Patriot fans outside the stadium today largely supported the team’s decision to release the tight end they had given a five year, $40 million contract extension to just last season. The murder charges and release of Aaron Hernandez are a major blow to a team that already has question marks at the tight end position thanks to the five surgeries Rob Gronkowski has underwent this off season.
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Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express