UPDATED STORY: Aaron Hernandez charged with first degree murder
Tight end Aaron Hernandez was arrested at his North Attleboro, MA, home on Wednesday morning at approximately 8:45 a.m. and officially released by the New England Patriots just under two hours later.
Hernandez, who has been under intense scrutiny since June 17 when Massachusetts State Police centered a homicide investigation in and around his $1.3 million, 5,600-square foot house, has yet to be arraigned or officially charged with a crime. That will occur in a Attleboro District Court at some point Wednesday.
Following Hernandez’s arraignment, Bristol District Attorney C. Samuel Sutter will issue a statement and take questions from the press.
Over the last 10 days, police have searched Hernandez’s home three times. They last visited it on Saturday with approximately 20 officers and two K9s, removing multiple bags of evidence from the premises. On Sunday, police searched a swampland area behind the house but were reportedly unable to find anything of significance.
Attorney Michael K. Fee, a lawyer representing Hernandez, released the following statement on behalf of his client on Monday night.
“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. 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.”
All records in the death of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd were officially sealed Tuesday by a Massachusetts judge.
Hernandez added a criminal defense specialist to his contingent of lawyers on Tuesday. Attorney James L. Sultan visited with Hernandez in the player’s home for over 30 minutes that day, according to The Boston Globe.
The Patriots acted swiftly to news that Hernandez had been handcuffed at his North Attleboro home after answering the door for police officers on Wednesday, officially releasing him from his contract with the team and releasing this 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.”
The NFL followed suit with a statement of its own.
“The involvement of an NFL player in a case of this nature is deeply troubling. The Patriots have released Aaron Hernandez, who will have his day in court. At the same time, we should not forget the young man who was the victim in this case and take this opportunity to extend our deepest sympathy to Odin Lloyd’s family and friends.”
Hernandez was signed to a five-year extension with a maximum value of $40 million including a $12.5 million signing bonus and $16 million in guaranteed money just 10 months ago in Aug. 2012.
He was set to earn just under $4.1 million in 2013.
The Patriots are expected to attempt to recover much of Hernandez’s signing bonus.
Photo Credit: NFL