Patriots release tight end Aaron Hernandez, issue statement
The New England Patriots had been mum this past week while their star tight end has been at the center of a homicide investigation. Today, they broke their silence and parted ways with Aaron Hernandez.
This morning Hernandez was arrested at his home in suburban Massachusetts. About an hour and a half later, the Patriots released him, according to The New York Times.
Hernandez was taken to North Attleborough police department, where he is expected to be arraigned in court later Wednesday, reports NBC News.
The Patriots issued the following statement on their website:
“A young man was murdered last week and we extend our sympathies to the family and friends who mourn his loss. Words cannot express the disappointment we feel knowing that one of our players was arrested as a result of this investigation. We realize that law enforcement investigations into this matter are ongoing. We support their efforts and respect the process. At this time, we believe this transaction is simply the right thing to do.”
Last week reports surfaced that Hernandez had been implicated in a police investigation of the homicide of 27-year-old, Odin Lloyd, a semipro football player, whose body was found on June 17 in an industrial park, less than one mile from Hernandez’s home.
Family members of the victim said Lloyd and Hernandez had been together the previous day and that Lloyd was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancee.
State Police have twice searched Hernandez’s home, a nearby pond, and woods. As of Wednesday the investigation is still being called “active and ongoing,” the Times reports.
Hernandez was drafted by the Patriots in 2010 and last year signed a contract extension that, with incentives, was worth nearly $40 million.