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Aaron Hernandez charged with murder

Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was charged with murder in connection with the death of semipro football player Odin Lloyd.

(AP Photo/Lloyd faOdin Lloyd) mily via the Boston Bandits) Odin Lloyd (AP Photo/Lloyd family via the Boston Bandits)

Hernandez was arraigned today in the North Attleboro, Mass., District Court with Lloyd’s family members looking on. Hernandez, who was arrested this morning at his home and was released by the team about 90 minutes later, also faces five gun-related charges.

The prosecutor asked that Hernandez be held without bail because of “the nature of the crime and the strength of the case” and the judge agreed, a decision that is likely to appealed by Hernandez’s lawyers. Hernandez entered a not-guilty plea.

In asking for bail, Fee noted that Hernandez is not a flight risk because he lives with his fiancee and 8-month-old baby. “It is at bottom, a circumstantial case,” Fee said. “It is not a strong case,” Fee said.

The charges are the result of an investigation that began when Lloyd’s bullet-riddled body was found in an industrial park near Hernandez’s home June 17. Prosecutors contend that the two men were friends and, according to Lloyd’s family, his girlfriend and Hernandez’s fiancee are sisters.

Aaron Hernandez and his attorney, Michael Fee, in court today. (Mike George / AP)

In his description of the charges, the prosecutor pointed to evidence that includes surveillance video, shell casings, fingerprints and text messages and calls the homicide “an execution.” They say the shooting stems from a nightclub dispute several days before. “The defendant orchestrated the execution,” Bill McCauley, an assistant district attorney, said. Lloyd, according to McCauley, was shot five times.

The charges Hernandez faces: first-degree murder, carrying a firearm without a license, possession of a large-capacity firearm, possession of a firearm without a firearm owner’s identification card and two other firearm charges.

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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