SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

June 26, 2013

New England Patriots release Aaron Hernandez

ATTLEBORO — The New England Patriots released Aaron Hernandez this morning, after the tight end was taken from his home in handcuffs.

Hernandez's arrest, on a state police warrant, comes more than a week after a Boston semi-pro football player was found dead in an industrial park a mile from Hernandez's house.

“A young man was murdered last week and we extend our sympathies to the family and friends who mourn his loss," reads a statement from the New England Patriots, posted on the team's website. "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.”

Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old semi-pro football player for the Boston Bandits, was found slain June 17. Officials ruled the death a homicide but did not say how Lloyd died.

Lloyd's relatives said he was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee, that the two men were friends and that both men were out together on the last night of Lloyd's life.

It's unclear why Hernandez was being taken into custody this morning before 9 and put into the back of a police cruiser. He was wearing a white V-neck T-shirt, with his arms inside the shirt and behind his back as he was led from his North Attleborough home. He casually spit into some bushes on his way to the car.

Hernandez was arrested on a state police warrant and was being booked at the North Attleborough police station, state police said on the agency's Twitter account. State police said they won't discuss the charge against Hernandez until it's presented in Attleboro District Court later today.

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