Aaron Hernandez has been moved into solitary confinement ... away from the general population ... because officials believe he could be a prize for blood-thirsty, fame-hungry inmates, TMZ has learned.
TMZ spoke with Bristol County Sheriff Tom Hodgson who tells us ... Aaron has been moved from the medical ward at Bristol County Jail to a "Class 2 Unit" -- where he is isolated from the general population.
Hodgson explains, "The reason for this move is simply to protect him. We wouldn't want some inmate trying to get any notoriety by attempting to harm Aaron Hernandez."
In his Class 2 unit, Hernandez is allowed 3 hours outside of his cell per day. Hodgson says, "He can have access to the phone, yard for fresh air, and the common room."
Hodgson says there are no TVs inside the common room or inside Aaron's cell.
We're told Aaron will stay in this unit for at least a week -- and then officials reevaluate the situation and decide if they want to move him to a different unit.
As for visitors, officials tell us Aaron can choose five people to put on a visitor list.
Hodgson adds, "Having just met with him earlier again after his evaluation, and for a man who has gone from 7,000-square-feet to a 10x7 cell, he is doing very well and seems to be taking the situation great. He is very respectful and calm. Also to this point he has had no special requests."
Placed In Medical Ward
7/1/2013 11:06 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Aaron Hernandez is NOT in the general population of jail ... because jail officials are concerned for his safety ... TMZ has learned.
We're told Hernandez -- who has been charged with first degree murder -- has been in the medical ward since his arrival last week. We're told authorities are concerned because of the former Patriots star's celebrity status ... other inmates might try to harm him.
Sources say at the time of this post, jail officials were meeting to decide what to do with Hernandez -- whether to put him in the general population or a more segregated environment.
For now ... Hernandez is in the medical wing ... allowed out of his cell for 1 hour a day.
Cops Theory on
M.O. For Murder
6/30/2013 9:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Police have a theory as to why they think former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez killed Odin Lloyd -- he knew secrets that could have destroyed Aaron's relationship with his fiancée and the team.
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... there are several operating theories, but a prevailing one based on evidence they have already unearthed is that Lloyd "mouthed off" to Hernandez about "secrets" Hernandez had told him in the past.
As for what the nature of the secrets -- we're told they involve 2 issues: Aaron's involvement in drugs and Aaron's involvement in several violent incidents.
Our law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... they do not believe Lloyd tried to extort Hernandez -- in other words, ask for money in return for secrecy. The theory is that Hernandez went ballistic after Lloyd started throwing damaging information in Hernandez's face -- information Hernandez thought would end his relationship with his fiancée and his football career.
Short story -- Odin's crime may have been that he was a blabbermouth.
Jail Staff & Inmates Warned
... NO Autographs, NO Pics
6/29/2013 1:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The staff at the Bristol County House of Corrections has been warned -- if you treat Aaron Hernandez like a celebrity, you're in serious trouble.
TMZ has learned ... the Bristol County Sheriff issued a warning to all jail staff members about taking photos or seeking autographs from the county's most famous alleged murderer.
And there's more ... jail staffers have been instructed to give Hernandez NO SPECIAL TREATMENT. Same food, same privileges, same everything.
We're told any staffer who violates the rule is subject to discipline ranging from an admonition to outright termination.
As for Hernandez, so far he's not acting like a prima donna athlete -- a jail rep says he's made no requests for anything special.
Stars and Scars
You Be the Judge
6/29/2013 12:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Busy week, with lots of alleged bigotry front and center -- from Alec Baldwin's Twitter rant, to Paula Deen's Titanic-like career plunge. So we gotta ask ...
Alleged Murder Victim
Laid to Rest
6/29/2013 12:35 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The semi-pro football player that Aaron Hernandez allegedly shot and killed was laid to rest Saturday.
Odin Lloyd's funeral took place at the Church of Holy Spirit in Boston. Friends, relatives, and well-wishers all showed up to pay their respects.
As TMZ previously reported ... Hernandez has been charged with Odin's murder, after his body was found not far from the ex-NFL star's home. Prosecutors claim the killing stemmed from an incident that occurred between the two men at a nightclub.
Hernandez is currently behind bars. He is being held without bail.
Redskins TE Fred Davis
Honest Response to
Aaron Hernandez Question
6/29/2013 12:15 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
All Suspects Apprehended
in Lloyd Murder
6/28/2013 2:11 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Officials believe they have now apprehended ALL THREE men involved in the murder of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd on June 17th, including Aaron Hernandez.
The Bristol County D.A. in Massachusetts tells TMZ, law enforcement apprehended suspect #3 Ernest Wallace this morning in Miramar, Florida ... more than a thousand miles away from the scene of the crime.
As we reported, the other two suspects -- Aaron Hernandez and Carlos Ortiz -- were both arrested earlier this week.
The D.A. tells us, officials believe these are the ONLY three men involved in the murder.
New England Patriots
Aaron Hernandez is
Not Kid Friendly
6/28/2013 12:45 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The New England Patriots want all Aaron Hernandez jerseys off the backs of kids, and off the market completely -- and they don't care what it costs to make it happen.
The team just announced that fans can exchange their #81 Hernandez jerseys for a brand new Pats jersey ... totally free of charge.
A spokesperson said, "We know that children love wearing their Patriots jerseys, but may not understand why parents don't want them wearing their Hernandez jerseys anymore."
The trade-in offer is further indictment of Hernandez by his former team ... which cut him even before the murder charges were announced.
The only catch to the deal is you have to exchange the jersey on July 6 or 7 at the team's pro shop at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.
Non-local Pats fans -- you're stuck with an alleged murderer on your back.
Have Gun, Will Travel
6/28/2013 12:20 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Aaron Hernandez was locked and loaded 4 years before his current alleged murder predicament ... and he made sure to capture the gun-toting moment on camera.
TMZ has obtained this photo ... showing a 19-year-old Aaron brandishing a Glock handgun for a selfie iPhone pic. You can see a magazine inserted into the gun, but it's unclear if it was loaded.
We've learned the pic was taken in Gainesville, Florida in 2009 ... the same time Hernandez was playing football for the University of Florida.
Aaron is wearing what appears to be a Livestrong bracelet -- which is pretty ironic, because spokesperson Lance Armstrong also left his sport in disgrace.
Fingers 3rd Suspect
6/27/2013 6:15 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
An associate of Aaron Hernandez is now officially wanted in connection with the murder of Odin Lloyd ... and police just blasted his face and name out to the world on a wanted poster.
Police believe 41-year-old Ernest Wallace was one of two other men in the car with Hernandez on June 17th ... when Lloyd was shot and killed. Wallace is wanted as an accessory after the fact in Lloyd's murder.
Police say he is armed and dangerous.
The other person in the car, Carlos Ortiz, was arrested Wednesday in Hernandez's hometown of Bristol, Connecticut.
According to the poster ... Wallace also goes by "BO" and "Fish." Police say he was last seen driving a silver/gray 2012 Chrysler 300 -- and is now most likely in Florida, Georgia, Connecticut or Massachusetts.
Dropped By Puma
6/27/2013 11:56 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
And boom goes the dynamite ... NFL star Aaron Hernandez' biggest sponsor PUMA has just dropped him like a hot potato.
A rep for PUMA tells TMZ, "PUMA has ended the relationship with athlete Aaron Hernandez in light of the current situation."
Hernandez signed the 2-year endorsement deal with PUMA in April 2013 as the face of its "training category." It's unclear how much the deal was worth ... but safe to say, a lot.
As we reported, Hernandez is currently in custody awaiting his murder trial. Hernandez was charged with 1st degree murder and 5 other gun-related charges in connection with the death of a 27-year-old former semi-pro football player named Odin Lloyd.
Hernandez is being held without bail.
Stuck in the Slammer
6/27/2013 11:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
NFL star and murder suspect Aaron Hernandez has just been denied bail ... meaning he'll rot behind bars until his trial ... and that could take forever.
Hernandez was present in court today for a bail review hearing, where his lawyer begged the judge to release Hernandez from custody while he awaits trial.
But the judge wasn't moved by his arguments -- that Hernandez is an upstanding citizen and family man with no flight risk -- claiming the prosecution already had very strong evidence that Hernandez had committed the crime.
As for the evidence ... the prosecutor went through the entire timeline leading up to the murder of Odin Lloyd earlier this month, including matching shell casings found at the murder scene and inside Hernandez' rental car. He also mentioned the photo TMZ posted last night -- showing Hernandez brandishing a glock in the mirror 4 years ago -- claiming it's possible the murder weapon was also a glock.
The prosecutor said they'd be seeking the max sentence for Hernandez ... life without parole.
Hernandez' fiancee -- who was also present in court -- was inconsolable when the judge issued her decision to keep the NFL star behind bars.
As we reported, Hernandez was remanded into custody yesterday following his arraignment and was ordered to be held WITHOUT bail.
Hernandez has been charged with murder in the death of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd. He's also been hit with 5 gun-related charges.
It could be months -- even a year -- before Hernandez gets his trial.