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Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriots tight end who appeared to have a bright future ahead of him, was in a Fall River, Massachusetts courtroom today, far from the gridiron. Hernandez entered a not guilty plea on charges connected to the death of Odin Lloyd this summer during today’s arraignment.
USA Today reports that Hernandez pleaded not guilty to all six charges that he currently faces - one for the murder of Lloyd and five weapons charges. The arraignment came after he was indicted by a grand jury last month.
Friday’s court appearance - Hernandez’s sixth since his June arrest - also comes while police are investigating a possible link to the shooting deaths of two men at a Boston nightclub in July 2012, notes CNN. The Hartford Courant, citing law enforcement sources, reported that police have video of Hernandez speaking with the victims before they were killed. While searching Hernandez’s uncle’s home in Bristol, Connecticut, police found an SUV that matched the description of one fleeing the scene of that shooting.
Hernandez’s team of attorneys believe that their client will be “exonerated.” They plan on going after the prosecution’s circumstantial evidence at a bail hearing, which will not take place until Oct. 9.
“Not one shred of evidence has been presented (in court) yet," Hernandez's attorney Charles Rankin told reporters.
Two alleged accomplices are also in prison. Ernest Wallace was indicted as an accessory after the fact, while Carlos Ortiz has been held without a bail hearing.
image: Wikimedia Commons