NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH — New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was taken from his home in handcuffs thius morning, more than a week after a Boston semipro football player was found dead in an industrial park a mile from the player’s house.
Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old semi-pro football player for the Boston Bandits, was found slain June 17. His relatives said he was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancee, that the two men were friends and that both men were out together on the last night of Lloyd’s life. Officials have ruled the death a homicide, but have not confirmed how Lloyd died, though he had reportedly sustained one or more gunshot wounds, according to several media outlets.
It’s unclear why Hernandez was being taken into custody Wednesday around 9 a.m. and put into the back of a police cruiser. He was wearing a white V-neck T-shirt, with his arms inside the shirt and behind his back. He casually spit into some bushes on his way to the car.
The Associated Press emailed a message to his attorney, Michael Fee, who hasn’t discussed the investigation beyond acknowledging media reports about it. A message also was left with the Bristol County district attorney’s office.
State police have searched in and around Hernandez’s home in North Attleborough several times. At least three search warrants have been issued in connection with the investigation, and seveal reports have indicated that Hernandez or someone else at the house had removed the homes’ security system, destroyed his cell phone before turning it over to police, and paid a professional crew to carrying out a thorough cleaning in the days right after Lloyd’s death. Video cameras from multiple sites had shown Hernandez, Lloyd and two other still unidentified men together hours before Lloyd’s apparent slaying.
Reporters have been camped out for days at Hernandez’s sprawling home near the Rhode Island line, just some 10 miles from Foxboro’s Gillette Stadium, where the Patriots play and train. Reports Tuesday indicated that Hernandez got a visit from Boston defense attorney James Sultan.
The Patriots drafted Hernandez, who is originally from Bristol, Conn., out of the University of Florida in 2010. Last summer, the team gave him a five-year contract worth $40 million. Patriots spokesman Stacey James has said the team did not anticipate commenting publicly during the police investigation.