New England Patriot tight end Aaron Hernandez’s NFL career and freedom is looking very dire at this point. Hernandez was arrested this morning and taken to the North Attleboro Police station to be booked in connection with the murder of Olin Lloyd. The body of Lloyd was found June 17, about one mile away from Hernandez’s North Attleborough home. The death was ruled a homicide. After he is booked, Hernandez will then be brought to the Attleboro District Court for his arraignment.
The Patriots then announced they would release Hernandez, less than two hours after the arrest. The team also released this statement:
A young man was murdered last week and we extend our sympathies to the family and friends who mourn his loss. 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.
Massachusetts State Police will not be releasing the charge against Hernandez until his arraignment later Wednesday.
He was questioned by police this past Monday following the murder of an acquaintance of his, and his house was searched on Tuesday, as police searched for potential evidence.
It was later discovered that surveillance tapes showed Hernandez, the victim Lloyd and 2 others together in a rental car in hours before Lloyd’s murder.
The body of Lloyd was found at an industrial park less than a mile from Hernandez’s home, and a vehicle rented by Hernandez has emerged as a key piece of evidence in regard to the murder.
The murder victim was identified as Odin Lloyd, a semi-pro linebacker for the Boston Bandits. Lloyd was fatally shot in the head.
Despite this arrest looming over the past week, in a statement released on Monday, Hernandez’s attorney, Michael K. Fee, denied a report that an arrest warrant has been issued for his client:
Over the past week, our client, Aaron Hernandez, has been the subject of a relentless flood of rumors, misinformation, and false reports in the media. These include the repeated publication of a supposedly confirmed report that an arrest warrant had been issued for Aaron, a report that was exposed as untrue. None of these false reports come from official sources and we appreciate the professionalism and restraint shown by the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office.
This, combined with Gronkowski’s injuries, doesn’t make it a very good offseason to be a Patriot’s fan. They will now be facing around $12.5 million in dead money against the salary cap, and will be without their top-5 receivers from the 2012 season.
While this is a sports-related story, let us not forget that a young man was murdered, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family.