Aaron Hernandez, ex-New England Patriot, pleads not guilty to 6 charges
Aaron Hernandez, former New England tight end, pleaded not guilty to charges he orchestrated the June 17 execution of semipro player Odin Lloyd.
The Hartford Courant and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
FALL RIVER, Mass. – Aaron Hernandez, former New England Patriots tight end, pleaded not guilty Friday to charges he orchestrated the June 17 execution of semipro player Odin Lloyd.
Hernandez, 23, was arraigned Friday in front of a packed courtroom. His mother and fiancée sat in the front row, directly across from nearly a dozen members of the victim’s family, who were dressed in purple, the 27-year-old Lloyd’s favorite color.
Hernandez firmly answered “not guilty” to six charges, including murder and weapons and ammunition possession charges.
A judge ordered Hernandez held without bail, after his lawyers announced their intention to argue for bail at a later date. Hernandez is next scheduled to appear in Fall River Superior Court for a hearing Oct. 9.
“We’re confident . . . Aaron will be exonerated,” said one of his lawyers, Charles Rankin. “Not one shred of evidence has been presented in court.”
Hernandez was cut by the Patriots hours after his June 26 arrest. Two other men, both from Hernandez’s hometown of Bristol, Conn., also were charged in Lloyd’s slaying.
Prosecutors already have disclosed much of the evidence they used to build their case against Hernandez, which includes surveillance footage of him carrying a gun, believed to be the murder weapon, into his house minutes after Lloyd’s death. The .45 caliber Glock pistol still has not been recovered. Investigators found .45 caliber shell casings at the crime scene and matching ammunition at an apartment leased by Hernandez.
Hernandez also has become a target of investigations in two other shootings: a July 2012 double homicide in Boston and a February shooting in Florida that left a Connecticut man without an eye.
• Atlanta cornerback Desmond Trufant, a rookie from Washington, faces a demanding test when the Falcons visit the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.
Will Trufant be targeted by a New Orleans offense that features quarterback Drew Brees?
“He’s a rookie,” Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan said of Trufant. “He better expect it.”
Trufant was the 22nd player drafted in the first round this year.
“I’ve gotten the nerves out with the preseason,” Trufant said. “It’s obviously going to be a different speed (because) it’s the regular season, but I’m not nervous.”
Nolan said, “He’s a competitive guy. He’s talented. He’s very smart. Intelligence never hurts you on the outside because if (opponents) keep doing the same things to you, typically, if you are smart enough, you can fix it.”