Former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez said "not guilty" six times to the judge and mouthed "I love you" to his fiance at his arraignment today on charges that he executed his friend in cold blood and possessed weapons illegally.
Wearing a black suit and a crisp white button-down shirt, Hernandez denied that he was the gunman who murdered Odin Lloyd, 27, a semi-pro football player from Boston. Lloyd's body was found on June 17 in a desolate industrial park less than a mile from Hernandez's million-dollar North Attleborough home.
His fiancé, Shayanna Jenkins, clung to a family member's hand as charges contained in the six-count indictment was read. Her presence was notable because prosecutors say she remains a person of interest in the case.
As Hernandez was brought handcuffed and shackled out of the court he turned and mouthed "I love you" toward the bench where Jenkins and other family members sat.
On the other side of the courtroom Lloyd's family were visibly upset as the charges were read. The Lloyd family wore the same purple of Lloyd's football team and buttons emblazoned with his face.
Defense attorneys and prosecutors agreed that Hernandez will continue to be held at a Bristol County lockup until a separate bail hearing will be held on Oct. 9. Hernandez has been in a segregation unit at the jail since his arrest in June and is spending time reading "Tuesdays with Morrie" and the Bible, prison officials told ABC News.
"Tuesdays With Morrie," an inspirational book by former sportswrtiter Mitch Albom, is about his meeting with former professor Morrie Schwartz and their talks about life.
Hernandez was formally indicted earlier this month and his case has now moved to superior where his trial on murder charges will be held.
Defense attorneys have insisted that the former NFL star – who was cut from the Patriots within hours of his arrest in June – will be cleared of any wrongdoing in the shooting of Lloyd.
Investigators say its case against Hernandez and two other men who have been criminally charges as his accomplices, Ernest Wallace, 41, and Carlos Ortiz, 27, is ironclad.
Wallace was indicted this month on a charge of accessory to murder after the fact. He earlier pleaded not guilty to the same charge in district court and was ordered held on $500,000 bail.Carlos Ortiz pleaded not guilty to a firearms charge and is being held without bail. He has not been indicted and court records reveal he is cooperating with investigators.
The murder indictment against Hernandez and search warrant affidavits filed by investigators reveal a timeline of all three men's actions in the hours before Lloyd was murdered.
Prosecutors say the three men picked up Lloyd at his Boston home and brought him to a desolate industrial park where he was shot with a .45 caliber handgun. That weapon has not been recovered but police have found other weapons Hernandez was not authorized to own. Investigators have also discovered a flophouse rented in Hernandez's name where a sweatshirt police said Hernandez was wearing when Lloyd was shot was recovered.
According to court records, Ortiz has fingered Hernandez as the gunman, telling detectives Wallace told him that Hernandez was the triggerman.
The investigation has also led to charges against Tanya Singleton, Hernandez's cousin, because of her refusal to cooperate with a grand jury hearing evidence in connection with an unsolved triple shooting that left two men dead and another wounded last summer. Hernandez has been called a suspect in that shooting.
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