Hernandez pleads not guilty in slaying of his pal
FORMER NEW ENGLAND Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, of Bristol, Conn., pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges that he orchestrated the June 17 execution of his friend Odin Lloyd.
Hernandez was arraigned in front of a packed courtroom. His mother and fiancee sat in the front row, directly across from nearly a dozen members of the victim's family.
A judge ordered Hernandez held without bail, after his lawyers announced their intention to argue for bail at a later date. He was indicted last month for murder and five illegal firearms charges, and is next scheduled to appear in Fall River Superior Court for a hearing Oct. 9.
Hernandez was cut from the Patriots hours after his June 26 arrest and twice was refused bail. Two other Connecticut men, both from Bristol, also were charged in Lloyd's slaying.
Prosecutors already have disclosed much of the evidence they used to build their case against Hernandez, which includes surveillance footage of him carrying a gun, believed to be the murder weapon, into his house minutes after Lloyd's death. The .45-caliber Glock pistol still has not been recovered. Investigators found .45-caliber shell casings at the crime scene and matching ammunition at a Massachusetts apartment leased by Hernandez.
The victim sent text messages to his sister minutes before he died to tell her he was out with Hernandez. "NFL," Lloyd typed. "Just so u know."
The ex-NFL star also has become a target of investigations in two other shootings: a July 2012 double homicide in Boston and a Feb. shooting in Florida that left an East Hartford man without an eye.
Hernandez faces an illegal firearms charge and is next scheduled to appear in court for a Sep. 27 hearing.
* The New York Giants said Jason Pierre-Paul (offseason back surgery) is questionable for tomorrow night's game at Dallas, but the star defensive end will make the trip and said his playing status will be a game-time decision. Meanwhile, Cowboys DE Anthony Spencer is listed as doubtful for the game after aggravating a knee injury.
* Jets receiver Santonio Holmes is questionable for the opener against Tampa Bay, but hopes to return from a foot injury that sidelined him most of last year.