BOSTON — Ex-National Football League player Aaron Hernandez is due to be arraigned on Friday afternoon on murder and weapons charges in connection with the killing of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd in June. He has pleaded not guilty.
Hernandez, 23, was a star tight end for the New England Patriots but was cut by the team within hours of his June 26 arrest on allegations that he orchestrated Lloyd’s shooting death.
Lloyd’s body was found on June 17 in an industrial area near Hernandez’s home in North Attleboro, Massachusetts.
Lloyd, 27, had been dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancée. Prosecutors say Hernandez and two other men drove Lloyd to the industrial park and shot him five times.
The arraignment in Superior Court in Fall River, Massachusetts, will include a formal reading of the charges — first-degree murder and five firearms violations — and could give Hernandez another opportunity to request bail, which has previously been denied.
Hernandez’s lawyer, Michael Fee, did not respond to calls requesting comment.
Hernandez, whose contract with the Patriots had been worth about $40 million, has been held in the Bristol County Jail since his arrest. Friday’s hearing takes place two days before the Patriots take the field against the Buffalo Bills in New York in their first game of the 2013-14 season.
The former Patriots star is also being investigated in connection with a double-murder in Boston in 2012 and has been sued by a Connecticut man who says Hernandez shot him in the face after a night at a Miami strip club in February.
No criminal charges have been filed in either case.