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It looks like the past has come back to haunt Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez. Now into the second day of the possible homicide investigation of the death of a 27-year-old man in North Attleboro, Hernandez has still not been ruled out as a suspect by police according to a report by WBZ. Despite conflicting reports, Hernandez has hired a lawyer and is cooperating with police. Now new information is emerging about Hernandez’s connection to the victim, who was identified as Odin Lloyd.
The body of Lloyd, with gunshots to the head, was first found by a jogger in a clearing near the home of Hernandez on Monday night. According to Sports Illustrated, Hernandez was first tied to the case because a rental car registered under his name was found near the scene of the crime. Officers arrived at to the residence of Hernandez Tuesday evening and questioned the player for hours but did not name his a suspect in the case. They later returned with a search warrant for the house and left with a box of unidentified objects. Two state troopers returned to the home Wednesday morning for unknown reasons but left after there was no answer at the door.
Now reports are speculating the victim was an associate of Hernandez. Lloyd was said to be dating Hernandez’s girlfriend’s sister at the time of the murder. The two were allegedly at a club together as late as Sunday night, leading investigators to believe this murder may be gang- and drug-related. Police are hoping to view surveillance videos from that night to help with the investigation.
Hernandez returned to his home Wednesday afternoon sporting a Patriots sweater but had no comment for the swarm of media personnel staked outside his house. His attorney Michael Fee said in a statement today, “Out of respect for that process, neither we or Aaron will have any comment about the substance of that investigation until it has come to a conclusion.
As Hernandez’s name gets dragged through the mud with all the speculations, we are learning more about another case against him. Reports are also surfacing, with really coincidental timing, Hernandez is being sued by Alexander S. Bradley, who claims the tight end shot him in the face after an altercation at a Miami strip club in February. However, according to the the Palm Beach County Sheriff, Hernandez was never named a suspect in the report. Bradley’s lawyer, David Jaroslawicz told ESPN’s Ed Werner that a personal injury lawsuit against Hernandez had been filed but was withdrawn because of technicalities but would be refiled.
Those that are quick to jump to a guilty conclusion will bring up Hernandez’s past tainted with gangs and drugs. Hernandez was a projected late first round to early second draft round in the 2010 draft. However, with multiple failed drug tests throughout college and admitting to using marijuana, Hernandez dropped to the fourth round to the Patriots. Reports also speculate Hernandez’s connection to gangs may have jeopardized his stock in the draft. Despite collegian setbacks, Hernandez has excelled in the league.
In just three seasons with the Patriots, Hernandez has become a premier Pro Bowl tight end and a favorite target for quarterback Tom Brady with close to 2,000 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns, leading to a lucrative contract last summer.
It’s hard to believe Hernandez would jeopardize his contract with the Patriots, endorsement with Puma and spending time with his baby daughter over such a poor decision. Hernandez, one of the premier tight ends in the league, just signed a five year $40 million contract last summer along with a two-year endorsement with Puma in April. He also became the proud father of a baby girl last summer. With so many positive things happening for Hernandez, it just does not make sense why he would get himself involved in something like this. Hopefully, Hernandez does not fall victim to the streets and to his past and his name can eventually be cleared. Let us all remember, he is innocent until proven guilty.