ATTLEBORO, Mass. – New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was arrested Wednesday and charged with murder in the shooting death of a friend prosecutors say angered the football player at a nightclub a few days earlier by talking to the wrong people.
Hernandez, 23, was taken from his North Attleborough home in handcuffs just more than a week after Odin Lloyd’s bullet-riddled body was found in an industrial park about a mile away.
Less than 2 hours after the arrest, the Patriots announced they had cut Hernandez, a 2011 Pro Bowl selection who signed a 5-year contract worth $40 million last summer.
Lloyd, a 27-year-old Boston Bandits linebacker, was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fianceé. He was shot repeatedly in the back and chest.
Hernandez “orchestrated the crime from the beginning,” prosecutor Bill McCauley said.
If convicted, the NFL player could get life in prison without parole.
“It is at bottom a circumstantial case. It is not a strong case,” attorney Michael Fee said at a hearing during which Hernandez was ordered held without bail on murder charges and five weapons counts.