Police yesterday arrested New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez on a first-degree murder charge in the shooting death of his friend, 27-year-old Odin Lloyd.
According to prosecutors, the two men had a dispute at a Boston nightclub on June 14, and surveillance cameras outside of Hernandez’s home showed the NFL player leaving with a gun hours before Lloyd was shot multiple times. On June 17, a jogger discovered Lloyd’s body in an industrial park about one mile from Hernandez’s home.
Hernandez, 23, pleaded not guilty to the murder charge and five gun-related charges, and Judge Daniel J. O’Shea ordered him to be held without bail. The Patriots released the former Florida Gator after his arrest Wednesday morning before the charges were publicly announced. New England had signed Hernandez to a five-year, $40 million contract extension in August 2012— the second largest contract extension for a tight end in NFL history.
Prosecutor Bill McCauley outlined the crime in Attleboro District Court, saying Hernandez was angry because Lloyd had communicated with individuals Hernandez “had trouble with.” Before leaving his house with the weapon, Hernandez told someone at his house that he couldn’t trust anyone anymore. “He orchestrated his execution,” McCauley added.
Hernandez lived with his fiancée and 8-month-old child in North Attleborough, Mass. Upon becoming a father on Nov. 6, he publicly claimed he was going to reform his behavior: “Now, another one is looking up to me. I can’t just be young and reckless Aaron no more. I’m going to try to do the right things.”
The Odin Lloyd murder case is one of several ongoing investigations of NFL players accused of violence. Prosecutors charged Cleveland Browns rookie linebacker Ausar Walcott with attempted murder on Tuesday, and a state attorney is filing a civil suit against Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew for his alleged role in abar fight that took place last month. In total, 28 NFL players have been arrested since Super Bowl XLVII in February, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune database.