News

Aaron Hernandez pleads ‘not guilty’ to murder

Aaron Hernandez pleads ‘not guilty’ to murder

Former New England Patriot football player Aaron Hernandez, listens to procedings in a court in Attleboro, Mass., Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013. Hernandez was indicted on first-degree murder and weapons charges in the death of a friend whose bullet-riddled body was found in an industrial park about a mile from the ex-player's home. Photo: Associated Press/Josh Reynolds

By Richard Valdmanis

FALL RIVER, Massachusetts (Reuters) – Ex-National Football League player Aaron Hernandez pleaded not guilty on Friday to murder in connection with the June killing of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd, and his lawyer said that not “one shred” of damning evidence had yet been presented.

Hernandez, 23, appeared at his arraignment in Superior Court in Fall River, Massachusetts, wearing a dark suit jacket and white collared shirt, said “not guilty” as the charges of first-degree murder and five firearms violations were read aloud.

Some members of Lloyd’s family, dressed in Lloyd’s favorite color purple, broke into tears during the brief hearing.

Hernandez was a star tight end for the New England Patriots but was cut by the team within hours of his June 26 arrest.

Lloyd’s body had been found nine days earlier in an industrial area near Hernandez’s home in North Attleboro, Massachusetts. Lloyd, 27, had been dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancĂ©e.

Prosecutors have said that Hernandez and two other men drove Lloyd to the industrial park and shot him five times, including twice while he lay helpless on the ground.

A lawyer for Hernandez, Charles Rankin, told reporters after the arraignment that he believed the prosecution’s case was weak. “Not one shred of evidence has been presented yet, and we feel confident that when evidence is finally presented in a court of law that Aaron will be exonerated,” he said.

Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter, speaking shortly after Rankin, disagreed: “Over 500 pages of documents have been released to the press and the public. Those include … returns on search warrants, still photographs from video surveillance …. I think that evidence speaks for itself.”

Hernandez is being held without bail, but Superior Court Judge Frances McIntyre granted a request by Hernandez’s attorneys to reserve the right to seek bail in the future. His previous effort to be released on bail was denied.

Hernandez, whose contract with the Patriots had been worth about $40 million, is being held in the Bristol County Jail. The next pretrial hearing has been set for Oct 9.

The Patriots are scheduled to take the field against the Buffalo Bills in New York on Sunday in their first game of the 2013-14 season.

The former Patriots star is also being investigated in connection with a double-murder in Boston in 2012 and has been sued by a Connecticut man who has accused Hernandez of shooting him in the face after a night at a Miami strip club in February. No criminal charges have been filed in either case.

Latest Headlines

in Local

Lawsuit Brought by Couple Who Videotaped Police is Settled

police

The city of Portland says it's going to use the arrest of a Bar Harbor couple who videotaped police officers as part of its training to ensure First Amendment protections.

in Local

Mom Charged With 4th OUI is Arrested

DRUNK DRIVING

Police say a woman has been charged with operating under the influence for a fourth time.

in Local

Maine Bill Would Change Process for US Senate Vacancies

ELECTION LARGE

A Maine Democratic lawmaker wants to strip the governor of his power to appoint a replacement in the event of a U.S. Senate vacancy.

in Local

Porbeagle Shark Could Be Listed as Endangered

th

Federal regulators say they are reviewing the status of the porbeagle shark to determine if listing the species under the Endangered Species Act is warranted.

in Local

Environmentalists, Businesses Seek Energy Efficiency Fix

GENERIC MAINE STATE HOUSE LARGE

Environmentalists and business owners are calling on lawmakers to swiftly fix an error in a bill that caused regulators to limit funding for energy efficiency programs.

Tweets

  • 1h
  • 1h
  • 1h
  • 1h
  • 2h
  • 2h
  • 2h