Former New England Patriot Hernandez charged with murder
By Rick Hall and Susan Candiotti
NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH, Massachusetts (CNN) — Former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez has been charged with murder in the death of Odin Lloyd, a prosecutor said in a Massachusetts courtroom Wednesday.
Hernandez was released from the team Wednesday after being arrested and booked at a police station in North Attleborough, Massachusetts.
For the past several days, investigators have been searching the area near Hernandez’s home as they continued their investigation into the death of a man whose body was found less than a mile from the house.
State police said they will not release the charge that Hernandez faces until after it is presented in court.
Hernandez will be arraigned later Wednesday, but the Patriots did not wait to dismiss him from the team.
“Words cannot express the disappointment we feel knowing that one of our players was arrested as a result of this investigation,” the team said in a statement.
The NFL released its own statement, calling the involvement of a player in the case “deeply troubling.”
Both the NFL and Patriots expressed sympathy for the victim’s family.
Hernandez’s lawyer broke his silence Monday, saying his client has been subjected to “a relentless flood of rumors, misinformation and false reports,” including unsubstantiated accounts in some media outlets late last week that an arrest warrant had been issued in connection with the investigation.
On Wednesday, about half a dozen plainclothes police officers went to Hernandez’s house and then led him out in handcuffs. He was wearing a white T-shirt and shorts.
Authorities have been tight-lipped since 27-year-old Odin Lloyd’s body was found last week.
Lloyd’s sister, Olivia Thibou, said she was glad to hear about Hernandez’s arrest.
“God is great,” she said. “It’s the best news I’ve had since my brother was killed last week.”
Though the charge that Hernandez will face is unknown for now, it doesn’t make a difference, she said.
“I don’t know if he killed my brother, but if he didn’t … he knows who did.”
On Tuesday, a notice posted at the courthouse said all records relating to the investigation have been “impounded by order of the court.”
The move seals all records related to the case, including search warrants.
Lloyd died of a gunshot wound, a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation said Thursday.
Thibou told CNN last week that Lloyd and Hernandez were friends who were at a Boston nightclub together a few days before Lloyd’s death. She said her brother was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancee. She did not know when or how her brother and Hernandez met.
Thibou said she did not know of any problems between Hernandez and Lloyd, who worked for a landscaping company. She said she couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to kill her brother, whom she described as a friendly guy who was like a father to her 7-year-old daughter.
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