Cousin of ex-Patriot Hernandez pleads not guilty to accessory charge
FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) – A cousin of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez pleaded not guilty Monday to a conspiracy charge for her alleged actions following the killing of Hernandez’s friend.
Tanya Singleton was held without bail after entering her plea in Fall River Superior Court to a charge of conspiracy to commit accessory after the fact to murder. Prosecutors say that in the days after the June 17 killing of Hernandez’s friend, Odin Lloyd, she helped one of Hernandez’s other friends flee to Florida.
Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and weapons charges in Lloyd’s shooting death. Ernest Wallace, the friend who fled to Florida, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of being an accessory after the fact in Lloyd’s death.
Singleton, 37, was already being held on a contempt charge. She was indicted on that charge after allegedly refusing to testify before the grand jury hearing evidence in Hernandez’s case and has pleaded not guilty.
Her lawyer, E. Peter Parker, would not comment outside court.
Singleton smiled several times during her brief arraignment but did not address the court other than to say, “not guilty.”
In court last week, a prosecutor alleged that Singleton drove Wallace to Georgia from her home in Bristol, Conn., and when her car broke down there, she bought him a bus ticket to Florida.
Singleton agreed to be held without bail on both charges but has the right to ask for a bail hearing at a later date. She is due back in court Oct. 24 for a pretrial conference on both charges.
Lloyd was found shot to death June 17 in an industrial part in North Attleborough, Mass., near Hernandez’s home. Lloyd, 27, a semi-professional football player from Boston, was dating the sister of Hernandez’s girlfriend.
Prosecutors said Wallace and Carlos Ortiz were with Hernandez and Lloyd on the night Lloyd was killed. Ortiz was indicted last week on a charge of accessory to murder after the fact, and is due for a court appearance Oct. 18. His lawyer has said he will plead not guilty.
Also indicted last week in the case is Shayanna Jenkins, Hernandez’s girlfriend and the mother of his child. She is charged with perjury for testimony she gave on Aug. 13 and Aug. 15, according to the indictment. She was scheduled to appear in court Oct. 15 on that charge. Her lawyer did not immediately return a request for comment Monday.
MICHELLE R. SMITH
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