NFL star Aaron Hernandez charged with murder

New England Patriots tight end arrested a week after semi-pro footballer shot dead

New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez in custody in North Attleborough  after being arrested as par of a murder investigation. Photograph: Dominick Reuter/Reuters

New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez in custody in North Attleborough after being arrested as par of a murder investigation. Photograph: Dominick Reuter/Reuters

Wed, Jun 26, 2013, 21:33

NFL star Aaron Hernandez has been charged with murder and weapons counts in connection with the killing of a semi-pro football player.

The New England Patriots tight end was taken from his home in handcuffs on this morning, more than a week after Odin Lloyd, a Boston semi-pro football player, was found dead in an industrial park a mile from Hernandez’s house.

Authorities say Lloyd was shot multiple times in the back and chest. They say Hernandez was upset with Lloyd after the two had a dispute at a nightclub a few days before.

Less than two hours after the arrest of Hernandez, the New England Patriots announced the player had been released from the team.

The Patriots released a statement, which said: “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.”

An NFL statement said: “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.”

Lloyd, a 27-year-old player for the Boston Bandits, was found dead on June 17th. Officials ruled the death a homicide but did not say how Lloyd died.

Lloyd’s relatives said he was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancée, that the two men were friends and that both men were out together on the last night of Lloyd’s life.