New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was led out of his house in handcuffs by law enforcement officials Wednesday morning.
Hernandez, 23, has been at the center of a homicide investigation into the death of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd. Police twice executed search warrants inside Hernandez’s home in the last week, but have been quiet about Hernandez’s suspected role in the murder.
Shortly after Hernandez was taken into custody, the Patriots announced that the tight end had been released by the team.
“A young man was murdered last week and we extend our sympathies to the family and friends who mourn his loss,” the Patriots 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.”
Bristol District Attorney C. Samuel Sutter, in a statement, confirmed Hernandez’s arrest, but did not say what crime the professional football player is accused of committing. Hernandez is expected to be arraigned at 2 p.m. Wednesday.
“Today at approximately 8:47 a.m. Aaron Hernandez was arrested by Massachusetts State Police and North Attleboro Police,” the statement issued by Sutter’s office reads. “He will be arraigned at Attleboro District Court. Following his arraignment, Bristol District Attorney C. Samuel Sutter will meet with the press and issue a statement.”
Hernandez received a visit from James L. Sultan, a prominent criminal defense attorney with recent success in appellate reversals of first degree murder convictions.
Nine police officers and detectives entered Hernandez’s house just before 9 a.m. Hernandez answered the door and was handcuffed, then given a white T-shirt to wear as he was walked to a marked police cruiser and driven away.
The NFL released the following statement:
“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.”
It’s a wrap for this guy. SMH. Lock him up. He tried to get away with murder.
UPDATE: Hernandez has officially been charged with murder.
Details via TMZ reports:
Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez has been charged with murder in connection with the death of a former semi-pro football player.
23-year-old Hernandez was arraigned this morning in a Massachusetts courtroom.
In addition to murder, Hernandez has been charged with 1 count of carrying a gun without a license, 2 counts of possession of a large firearm, and 2 counts of firearm possession. He has pled not guilty.
Prosecutors say there was communication between the victim and Hernandez just 10 hours before the victim’s death. They believe they have video showing Lloyd getting into Hernandez’ car just hours before Lloyd’s death.
As we reported, Hernandez was arrested today at his Massachusetts home after 27-year-old Odin Lloyd’s body was discovered close to the NFL star’s home last week. It appears Odin was shot through the back of the head.
Lloyd is believed to have been dating the sister of Aaron’s fiancee at the time of his murder.
Details surrounding the murder are still unclear.
This is the victim, Odin Lloyd. Damn shame. He was only 27-years-old.