Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Aaron Hernandez Taken Into Custody, Led Off In Handcuffs....Patriots Then Release The Star Tight End

VIA: New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was taken from his home in handcuffs Wednesday, more than a week after a Boston semi-pro football player was found dead in an industrial area a mile from the player's house.

A short time later, the Patriots cut Hernandez.

Hernandez's arrangement was scheduled for 2 p.m. ET. Law enforcement officials remained mum on details of the state police warrant.

Bristol District Attorney C. Samuel Sutter spoken briefly to media members but offered few details other than the arraignment time.

Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old semi-pro football player, was found slain June 17. His relatives said he was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee, that the two men were friends and the both men were out together on the last night of Lloyd's life.

Lloyd's mother, Ursula Ward, declined to comment at her Boston home Wednesday.

"Nothing to say, please. Thank you," she said, before shutting the door.

Officials ruled the death a homicide but did not say how Lloyd died. Numerous media reports indicated he was shot, possibly multiple times, and at least once in the head.

It's unclear why Hernandez was being taken into custody Wednesday around 9 a.m. ET and put into the back of a police cruiser. He was wearing a white V-neck T-shirt, with his arms inside the shirt and behind his back. He casually spit into bushes on his way to the car.

After Hernandez's arrest, residents in his subdivision expressed relief, the Boston Globe reported. One who lives across the street from Hernandez and asked to only be identified by her first name called his arrest "anticlimactic."

"We expected something to happen," Jane said. "We just didn't know when."

The Associated Press emailed a message to his attorney, Michael Fee, who hasn't discussed the investigation beyond acknowledging media reports about it. A message also was left with the Bristol County district attorney's office.

Sporting News' David Steele spoke with an employee at the clerk's office at the North Attleboro courthouse who said there was no record of a warrant being issued or served or that an arrest in the Lloyd case had been made.

"Aaron Hernandez currently being booked at N. Attleboro Police Station. Will be brought to Attleboro District Ct for arraignment. We are not releasing the charge against Hernandez until it is presented to the court. Again, he will be arraigned in Attleboro Court today. Hernandez arrested at his home this morning shortly after MSP obtained arrest warrant."

State police have searched in and around Hernandez's home in North Attleboro several times. At least three search warrants have been issued in connection with the investigation.

North Attleboro is southwest of Boston and near the Patriots headquarters and home field in Foxborough, Mass. It is near Rhode Island line.

Reporters camped out for days at Hernandez's sprawling home. They reported Tuesday that Hernandez got a visit from Boston defense attorney James Sultan.

The Patriots issued the following statement about releasing Hernandez:

"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."

The Patriots drafted Hernandez, who is from Bristol, Conn., out of the University of Florida in 2010. Last summer, the team gave him a five-year contract worth $40 million.

The NFL released the following statement via Ben Volin of the Boston Globe: "The involvement of an NFL player in a case of this nature is deeply troubling. The Patriots have released Aaron Hernandez, who will have his day in court. At the same time, we should not forget the young man who was the victim in this case and take this opportunity to extend our deepest sympathy to Odin Lloyd’s family and friends."

Patriots spokesman Stacey James has said the team did not anticipate commenting publicly during the police investigation.

— Contributing: Associated Press

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