Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez pleaded not guilty to a first-degree murder charge Friday following his indictment in the killing of a friend authorities say was shot five times in an industrial park.
Hernandez firmly answered “not guilty” to six charges, including murder and weapons and ammunition possession charges.
His attorneys agreed ahead of the hearing that Hernandez, 23, will continue to be held without bail, but reserved the right to request bail later. The next court hearing was set for Oct. 9.
Defense attorney Charles Rankin said outside the courthouse in Fall River, Mass., that Hernandez’s legal team is confident the ex-Patriot will be exonerated during a trial.
New Steelers punter
New Pittsburgh Steelers punter Zoltan Mesko believes that everything happens for a reason.
That was never more evident than this week.
Mesko was released by the New England Patriots last week, but was unemployed just two days. Scooped up by the Steelers Monday, and given a second chance in the NFL, Mesko is ready for the challenge. After all, he was once a fan of the Black and Gold.
Indeed, somewhere along his amazing journey from war-torn Romania to Ohio and eventually to the NFL, Mesko fell in love with Pittsburgh’s pride and joy.
“I randomly found this Steelers jacket at a Walmart in Cleveland, because I needed a new winter jacket,” he said. “I really had no clue if the Steelers were a football team or baseball team. I didn’t know anything about them.”
He does now. And he will get a chance to return the favor, when Pittsburgh takes on Tennessee in Week 1.
The Seattle Seahawks won’t know until Sunday whether starting cornerback Brandon Browner or defensive end Cliff Avril will be able to play in the season opener against Carolina. … After watching Blaine Gabbert take dozens of snaps and throw hundreds of passes this week, the Jacksonville Jaguars still aren’t ready to declare him healthy enough for the season opener against Kansas City. … Dallas Cowboys defensive end Anthony Spencer still hasn’t returned from a left knee injury that kept him out all of training camp and is listed as doubtful for the season opener against the New York Giants. … The Giants are going to make the Cowboys keep guessing about Jason Pierre-Paul’s playing status for the season opener. The playing-making defensive end is listed as questionable for Sunday night’s game in Dallas. … Defensive end Ziggy Ansah practiced Friday and is probable for the Detroit Lions’ game against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. … Tennessee Titans right tackle David Stewart is questionable for Sunday’s season opener at Pittsburgh after missing a second straight practice with a sore right calf.