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Aaron Hernandez

Cops Won't Confirm He's a Suspect In 2012 Double Murder

6/27/2013 9:52 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0626-getty-aaron-hernandezOfficials in Massachusetts will NOT confirm if Aaron Hernandez is connected to a 2012 double murder investigation ... but they're not exactly denying it either.

There are reports that Hernandez is being investigated about a shooting incident from July 2012 -- when two men were killed in a late-night drive-by in Boston.

We reached out to the Suffolk County District Attorney ... and a rep for the office would only confirm there is an "active investigation" into the case.

When we pushed and asked if Hernandez was a person of interest ... the rep had no comment.

However, one source close to the situation tells us, "It's safe to assume he is now involved."

Stay tuned ...

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Aaron Hernandez

The Signs of a Gang Member

6/27/2013 9:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0627_aaron_hernandez_gangTMZ has obtained a photo of Aaron Hernandez throwing up gang signs often associated with the Bristol Bloods street gang in Connecticut ... while dressed head-to-toe in red clothing.

The photo was taken approximately 6 years ago, when Aaron was 17-years-old ... and a senior at Bristol Central High.

Aaron was long-rumored to be a member of the gang ... and now, with this photo -- combined with the "blood" tattoo spotted on his hand during his arraignment -- the doubt has seemingly been erased.

23-year-old Hernandez has been charged with the murder of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd. He's due back in court later today.

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Aaron Hernandez

People Were Out to Kill Me

6/27/2013 4:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Aaron Hernandez was in constant fear that someone wanted him dead ... and that's why he stocked up on firearms ... sources close to the former New England Patriots star tell TMZ.

We're told ... the stories about Aaron's connections to gang members in Connecticut are real -- because the 23-year-old had joined one back when he was a teenager.

Sources connected to Aaron tell us ... he had been trying to move away from the gangster life ever since he signed his fat $40 million contract with the Patriots back in 2012, but it's not as easy as it sounds.

In fact, we're told Aaron believed people in the gangster world felt Aaron owed them something ... but it wasn't all about money -- they wanted his time and respect.

Sources say ... in the months leading up to the death of Odin Lloyd, Hernandez became paranoid that people from his "old lifestyle" were trying to kill him. It's unclear if Aaron feared scorned friends ... or rivals.

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Aaron Hernandez

'How Much Is a Hit

On You Worth?'

6/27/2013 12:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Video

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When TMZ asked Aaron Hernandez about a hypothetical bounty on his head ... all he could do was smile and laugh -- then again, the footage was shot nearly 4 months before he allegedly killed someone.

We found this clip showing the former New England Patriots star leaving Saddle Ranch on March 5 ... sporting a big ol' smile as we asked him about the NFL bounty scandal.

Now, of course, the term "hit" has taken on a totally different meaning ... as the 23-year-old faces murder charges in the slaying of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd.

What a difference a few months can make.

Aaron Hernandez

THE SMOKING GUM

6/26/2013 2:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

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Prosecutors believe they have a CRUCIAL piece of evidence that proves Aaron Hernandez murdered Odin Lloyd ... and the proof tastes like cotton candy.

As Aaron stood shackled in a Massachusetts courtroom moments ago, prosecutors spelled out their case against the former New England Patriots player.

During the hearing, prosecutors say they can prove Hernandez stopped at a gas station hours before the murder and purchased gas, cigarettes and BLUE COTTON CANDY FLAVORED BUBBLICIOUS BUBBLE GUM.

After Odin was murdered, investigators say they found a shell casing in his rental car that matched the caliber of the bullet used to kill the 27-year-old ... and next to the casing -- A CHEWED PIECE OF BLUE COTTON CANDY FLAVORED BUBBLICIOUS BUBBLE GUM.

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Officials believe the gum places Hernandez at the scene of the crime -- and proves he killed Odin.

Hernandez has entered a not guilty plea.

Aaron Hernandez

Charged with Murder

Held Without Bail

6/26/2013 11:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

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Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez has just been charged with murder in connection with the death of a 27-year-old former semi-pro football player named Odin Lloyd.

23-year-old Hernandez was arraigned this morning in a Massachusetts courtroom. He has since been remanded into custody without bail.

In addition to murder, Hernandez has been charged with 1 count of carrying a gun without a license, 2 counts of possession of a large firearm, and 2 counts of firearm possession. He has pled not guilty.

FYI, there is no death penalty in Massachusetts ... so that's not an option in this case.

The DA said Lloyd was shot multiple times in the groin, arm, side, chest and back with a .45 caliber semi automatic weapon before his body was discovered last Monday.

Prosecutors say there was communication between the victim and Hernandez just 10 hours before the victim's death. They believe they have video showing Lloyd getting into Hernandez' car around that time. They also say Hernandez had been texting Lloyd.

The DA said keys were found in Lloyd's pocket to a car that had been rented by Hernandez.

The Friday before Lloyd's body was found, prosecutors say Hernandez and Lloyd went to a nightclub together.

As for the motive, prosecutors believe Odin had said something recently to Hernandez that destroyed his trust.

As we reported, Hernandez was arrested today at his Massachusetts home after Lloyd's body was discovered close to the NFL star's home last week.

Lloyd is believed to have been dating the sister of Aaron's fiancee at the time of his murder.

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Aaron Hernandez

DROPPED BY PATRIOTS

'It's the Right Thing To Do'

6/26/2013 8:32 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

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The New England Patriots have DROPPED tight end Aaron Hernandez in the wake of the NFL star's arrest early Wednesday morning ... and the team says the move was the "right thing to do."

23-year-old Hernandez was a rising star with the Patriots and signed a 5-year contract worth $40 MILLION just last summer.

The Patriots just released a statement saying, "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.”

Officials have not announced what Hernandez has been charged with so far ... but the charges will be revealed when Hernandez appears in court for his arraignment later today.

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8:55 AM PT -- The NFL has issued a statement ... saying, "The involvement of an NFL player in a case of this nature is deeply troubling."

8:53 AM PT
-- The Patriots are scrubbing any trace of Hernandez from the organization -- removing all A.H. merchandise from the team store ... and erasing him from the official roster on the team website.
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Aaron Hernandez

ARRESTED

in Murder Investigation

6/26/2013 8:05 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

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New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez has been ARRESTED in connection with the murder of a man whose body was discovered close to the NFL star's home.

Hernandez was taken into custody at his home in Massachusetts. He was handcuffed and led into a waiting police cruiser, which left the scene moments later ... presumably headed for a local police station.

The 23-year-old NFL star is reportedly set to be arraigned later today.

There are reports based on law enforcement sources that Hernandez destroyed evidence and could be charged with obstruction of justice. So far, no formal charges have been announced.

The move comes days after cops searched Hernandez's Massachusetts home ... looking for evidence connected to the murder of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd, an ex semi-pro football player.

Lloyd's body was discovered in a park in North Attleborough, Mass last Monday. It appears he was shot through the back of the head.

Lloyd's family says the NFL star does have a connection to Lloyd -- but they wouldn't elaborate.  According to reports, Lloyd had been dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancée. 

TMZ broke the story ... Hernandez is also facing a lawsuit stemming from a separate incident, in which he allegedly shot a man in the face following a dispute at a Miami strip club back in February.

Hernandez is a rising star with the Patriots and signed a 5-year contract worth $40 MILLION just last summer.

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Aaron Hernandez

Cops Searching NFL Star's House ... Again

6/22/2013 1:15 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0620_aaron_hernandez_03Cops today entered the home of Aaron Hernandez for the second time this week in connection to the homicide of Odin Lloyd.

Law enforcement arrived Saturday afternoon to Hernandez's Massachusetts home with two police dogs and what appeared to be evidence gathering equipment, according to reports.

The Patriots' tight-end is being investigated​ in connection to the recent murder of Odin -- a semi-pro footballer who was found shot dead Monday near Hernandez's home. Cops previously searched the home Thursday.

According to reports, law enforcement is investigating three specific things: why Hernandez's security system was destroyed, why he handed his cell-phone to cops in broken pieces and why he hired a cleaning crew on Monday to scrub down his house ... all items which could have contained key pieces of evidence.

Police left Hernandez's house at approximately 5:45 PM ET, carrying approximately 15 bags of apparent evidence.

Aaron Hernandez

DROPPED

As Muscle Milk Pitchman

6/21/2013 11:10 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

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Aaron Hernandez can say goodbye to one of his sponsors -- Muscle Milk is jumping ship in the wake of the NFL star's legal troubles.

CytoSport -- the company behind the popular supplement -- said it was dropping the Patriots' tight end immediately ... in the light of the ongoing investigation.

Police searched Hernandez's Massachusetts home and the area around it ... while investigating the homicide of Odin Lloyd ... who has connections to Hernandez.

Hernandez -- who has not been arrested or named a suspect in Lloyd's death -- is also being sued for allegedly shooting a man in Miami.

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Aaron Hernandez

Report:

Arrest Warrant Issued

6/21/2013 5:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

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update_bar7:40 AM PT  The Boston Globe says no arrest warrants have been issued -- yet -- but the paper also claims police have seen video footage of Hernandez and Odin Lloyd hanging out at a bar on Monday.

Lloyd's body was found Monday night.

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Aaron Hernandez
will be in handcuffs soon, and charged with obstruction of justice -- and possibly more -- according to reports.

An arrest warrant has been issued for the New England Patriots star -- according to WBZ in Boston -- and Massachusetts State Police are expected to handle the arrest sometime on Friday.

Police have been swarming around Hernandez's home all week investigating the death of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd ... who was found shot in the head about a mile away from Hernandez's home.

Police searched Hernandez's house, and the obstruction charge would reportedly stem from evidence he destroyed his home security system -- which included video surveillance footage.

As we first reported ... Hernandez is also accused of shooting a man in Miami back in February. The victim has filed a civil lawsuit against Hernandez, but it's still possible he could face criminal charges.

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Aaron Hernandez

Cops Have NOT Named Him as 'Suspect' In Shooting

... Yet

6/19/2013 2:30 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0619-aaron-hernandez-gettyNFL star Aaron Hernandez has NOT been identified as a suspect in the shooting of Alexander S. Bradley ... but that could change ... cops tell TMZ.

We broke the story ... Hernandez has been sued by Bradley, who claims the New England Patriots tight end shot him in the face and left him to die back in February.

Cops tell TMZ ... ever since the incident, Bradley has been extremely uncooperative with investigators -- and has refused to identify his assailant ... until he pointed the finger at Hernandez in his lawsuit, which he filed last week.

So what does it mean for the investigation? The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Dept. tells us ... it doesn't mean much.

In fact, we're told cops have no plans to meet with Hernandez ... and have neither named him a suspect nor a person of interest in the shooting.

And why not? With an uncooperative witness and no hard evidence ... it's a safe bet investigators don't feel they have a strong enough case to go after the NFL star.

Of course, plans could change ... but for now, it seems unlikely Hernandez will be prosecuted.

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