NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH, Mass. – Aaron Hernandez was arrested Wednesday morning, more than a week after an acquaintance of the New England Patriots tight end was found dead in an industrial park near his house.
Less than two hours following his arrest, Hernandez was released by the Patriots, who initially announced the transaction on their Twitter account before formalizing it in an official statement.
The Bristol County District Attorney’s office released a statement announcing Hernandez’s arrest, although charges were not disclosed. Hernandez was arrested by Massachusetts State Police, who obtained the arrest warrant, and was booked at the North Attleborough police station.
The Massachusetts State Police announced on its Twitter account that the charges against Hernandez will not be revealed until his arraignment Wednesday at Attleboro District Court.
Wearing a white V-neck T-shirt, long red athletic shorts and black sneakers, Hernandez was led around 9 a.m. ET from the front door of his mansion with his hands in handcuffs behind his back inside the shirt and placed into a police cruiser, which quickly drove away. He casually spit into some bushes on his way to the car.
Hernandez remains at the center of an investigation involving the shooting death of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd.
The Patriots extended their sympathies to Lloyd’s family in the statement announcing Hernandez’s release from the team.
“A young man was murdered last week and we extend our sympathies to the family and friends who mourn his loss,” the Patriots’ statement said. “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 NFL also released a statement Wednesday, saying that Hernandez’s arrest is “deeply troubling.”
“The involvement of an NFL player in a case of this nature is deeply troubling,” the league’s statement said. “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.”
ABC News on Friday reported that authorities were expected to execute an arrest warrant at some point for Hernandez on charges of obstruction of justice.
The arrest warrant was prepared last week after police discovered that the security system at Hernandez’s home, along with his cellphone, were destroyed, sources told ABC News.
State police officers and dogs searched Hernandez’s home for more than 3½ hours Saturday.
CBS News legal analyst Jack Ford talks about the way that police took Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez into custody, Hernandez’s legal status and more.
Michael Fee, an attorney for Hernandez, released a statement Monday night that read:
“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 to date with regard to its public statements while its investigation is underway. Out of respect for that ongoing investigation, we will continue to refrain from commenting on its substance.”
Surveillance video from the neighborhood shows Hernandez with Lloyd and two other people hours before Lloyd was killed last week, sources confirmed to ABC News late Thursday.
Reporters have been camped out for days at Hernandez’s sprawling home on the Rhode Island line, not far from the stadium where the Patriots play.
The Patriots drafted Hernandez, who is originally from Bristol, Conn., out of the University of Florida in 2010. Last summer, the team gave him a five-year contract worth $40 million. SOURCE
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