Former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez was indicted Thursday in Attleboro, Mass., on first-degree murder and weapons charges in the death of a friend whose bullet-riddled body was found in an industrial park about a mile from the ex-player’s home.
The six-count grand jury indictment charges Hernandez with killing Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player from Boston who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s girlfriend.
Hernandez, 23, pleaded not guilty to murder and weapons charges in June, and he is being held without bail.
He had a brief court appearance in Attleboro on Thursday afternoon. Afterward, his attorney Michael Fee said the defense was pleased to be on a path to a jury trial and was looking forward to testing the prosecution’s evidence.
“There has been an incredible rush to judgment in this case,” and the state doesn’t have enough evidence to prove the charges, he said.
Hernandez signed a contract last summer worth $40 million but was cut by the Patriots within hours of his June 26 arrest. He could face life in prison if convicted.
The Bristol County grand jury also indicted two others in the case: Hernandez associate Ernest Wallace and Hernandez’s cousin Tanya Singleton.
Wallace is charged with accessory to murder after the fact. Prosecutors have said he was with Hernandez the night Lloyd died. Singleton is charged with criminal contempt for refusing to testify before the grand jury, Bristol County District Attorney Samuel Sutter said. She has been jailed in Massachusetts since Aug. 1. A recent affidavit said that, after Lloyd’s killing, she bought Wallace a bus ticket.
Carlos Ortiz, who faces a weapons charge in district court connected to the case, was not indicted.
Sutter said Hernandez’s arraignment in Superior Court could come next week.
Congress might step in
The top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee says the NFL players’ union “is now holding HGH testing hostage” and that could “force Congress to intervene.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland says in a statement emailed by his office to the Associated Press that the “NFL Players’ Association continues to disregard its promise to implement HGH testing.”
The oversight committee held a hearing in December to take a look at the science behind blood tests for human growth hormone. HGH is a banned performance-enhancing drug that is hard to detect and has been linked to health problems such as diabetes, cardiac dysfunction and arthritis.
Two full NFL seasons have passed without a final agreement on HGH since the August 2011 labor deal paved the way for testing.
Two Bucs battle infections
Tampa Bay guard Carl Nicks and kicker Lawrence Tynes are being treated for MRSA infections.
Buccaneers General Manager Mark Dominik confirmed Thursday that Nicks has an infected blister on the side of his left foot and Tynes has an infected toe on his right foot.
MRSA is a staph infection that is resistant to some antibiotics. The cases were diagnosed last week while the Bucs were in New England holding joint practices with the Patriots before a preseason game.
Jets sign Massaquoi
The New York Jets signed veteran wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi to add depth to their receiving corps.
Massaquoi was cut by Jacksonville on Monday after signing a two-year deal in April. He had two catches for 15 yards in the Jaguars’ preseason loss to the Jets on Saturday night. He was drafted by the Browns in the second round out of Georgia in 2009. Massaquoi had 118 catches for 1,745 yards and seven touchdowns in four seasons with the Browns.
The signing by the Jets on Thursday comes as Braylon Edwards has sat out of practice all week because of a leg injury.
Jordan might miss opener
After sitting out most of practice for a second consecutive week, Miami Dolphins first-round pick Dion Jordan says he might not be ready for the start of the regular season. Asked whether he’d be surprised if he can’t go on Sept. 8 at Cleveland, the first defensive player taken in the draft says, “It wouldn’t be a surprise at all.”
Jordan hasn’t taken part in a full practice since Miami’s 27-3 preseason victory at Jacksonville on Aug. 9. Jordan underwent surgery for a torn labrum on Feb. 28.
Around the league
Derek Wolfe put in a full upper-body workout in the weight room, then the Denver Broncos defensive lineman thanked his teammates and fans for their prayers and well wishes after he was taken via ambulance from CenturyLink Field in Seattle last weekend after taking a blow to his neck. All tests were negative for any serious injury. … Running back Ryan Williams and tight end Jeff King returned to practice in the final workout of training camp for the Arizona Cardinals. Both had been out since the early days of camp with knee problems. … Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Jordan Hill has a strained biceps.