ABC News is reporting that former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez has been formally indicted by a grand jury for the murder of Odin Llyod, an associate of Hernandez’s that was also dating his sister. Hernandez was expected to appear in court Thursday for a probable cause hearing before the indictment was issued:
The former New England Patriot was charged in connection with the murder of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd, who was allegedly shot five times execution-style on June 17.
Prosecutors pushed to get an indictment before today’s hearing, sources told ABC News. That is significant because without an indictment Hernandez’s lawyers would have likely argued for his release.
Officially indicting Hernandez for the murder means he won’t be freed from jail any time soon, which was possible because his defense could argue for his release without the indictment in place. Hernandez was arrested at his home on June 26 and has been held in a solitary cell in a correctional facility in Bristol. Two associates of Hernandez’s are also charged with murder in the case — Carlos Ortiz and Ernest Wallace — and Ortiz has identified Hernandez to authorities as the shooter.
The grand jury indictment also contains weapons counts, per ESPN. If convicted, Hernandez faces up to life in prison.
Since his arrest Hernandez has also been linked to a double homicide from 2012, with the investigation in that case still ongoing.
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