A grand jury on Thursday indicted former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez on murder and weapons charges in the slaying of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd, who was gunned down in a remote field.
In addition to first-degree murder, the grand jury also indicted Hernandez, 23, on multiple weapons charges.
He is expected to be arraigned on the charges in the coming weeks, although a final date has not established Thursday.
The indictment was announced at an afternoon court hearing. Hernandez, wearing a Navy blue sport coat, did not speak during the 10-minute hearing.
Then, Michael Fee, one of his lawyers, argued that “had an incredible rush to judgment in this case” and said that he questioned whether prosecutors had enough evidence to prove that Hernandez shot and killed Lloyd , 27.
“On the evidence that we are aware of now, we do not believe it is possible for the Commonwealth to meet its burden,” Fee said out of red bricks lot Courthouse.
District Attorney C. Samuel Sutter, asked to respond to the assertion Fee’s, said he was prohibited from commenting on the evidence. But he also stated that he was prohibited from pointing to the words of a judge to manage one of Hernandez’s first court appearances.
That judge, Renee Dupuis, said that while the evidence laid at that point is circumstantial, it is “very, very strong.”
“Justice is coming to the end of the test, not today,” said Sutter.
Hernandez was the subject of two other ongoing investigations – one into a double murder in Boston in 2012 and one in Florida where a person is suspected that he was taken by the former players in February.
Also Thursday, the grand jury issued two other indictments. Ernest Wallace Jr., who prosecutors allege has taken Hernandez Lloyd night and killed, was charged with being an accessory after the fact. And Tanya Singleton, a cousin of Hernandez, is charged with contempt for refusing to testify before the grand jury.
Carlos Ortiz, another person who prosecutors allege have Hernandez Lloyd when killed, was not indicted, even before he was charged with weapons possession.
Lloyd is a semi-pro football player, and his bride girlfriend and Hernandez were female. Prosecutors suspect that like Hernandez Lloyd dead because he was talking to people in a nightclub now ex-Patriot had a problem.
Lloyd’s body was discovered on the afternoon of June 17 in a remote part of a forest industrial park not far from home that the former player. Lloyd can be realized what was happening – according to court documents, he sent his sister a few texts in the minutes before his death, telling him that he would make sure he knew that he had a friend he called “NFL” – apparently referring to the National Football League.
“Just to let you know,” was the final text, sent within a minute when prosecutors believe he shot and killed.
According to court documents, prosecutors allege Wallace and Ortiz Hernandez summoned to his home late on the night of June 16. The three of them then allegedly set for Boston on a rental Nissan Altima, where they took the Lloyd early the next morning and then made the roughly 45-minute drive back to North Attleboro , pulling in the industrial park in 3:23 and leaving four minutes later.
The accusations were based on a detailed reconstruction of the time leading to Lloyd murder, which is based on cell phone calls and text messages and many images from surveillance cameras, including some in the Hernandez home.
The place where Lloyd was killed about a half mile from home Hernandez in a straight line, and about 1.2 km by road. Even observe the speed limit and obeying stop signs, it is a three-minute drive to his three-story house in a wooded neighborhood.
Hernandez, who signed a five-year, $ 40 million contract in 2012, was cut by the Patriots hours after his arrest June 26th.