Shayanna Jenkins, fiancee of Aaron Hernandez, leaves the Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River, Mass., earlier this month after Hernandez was arraigned on murder and weapons charges in connection with the killing of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd in June. Jenkins is now facing charges related to the murder. (Reuters)
BOSTON — The fiancée of Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriots star accused of murdering semi-pro player Odin Lloyd, was indicted along with two other people on charges related to the case on Friday.
Shayanna Jenkins, who has an infant daughter with Hernandez, was indicted by a grand jury for perjury, according to a statement from Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter’s office.
Also indicted were Hernandez’s friend Carlos Ortiz, on a charge of accessory to murder, and Hernandez’s cousin Tanya Singleton on a charge of conspiracy to commit accessory after the fact, Sutter’s office said. Singleton had already been indicted on charges of criminal contempt.
Hernandez was a star tight end of the New England Patriots when he was arrested on June 26 for the alleged execution-style murder of Lloyd, whose bullet-riddled body was found in an industrial area near Hernandez’s home in North Attleborough, Mass. He was cut by the team within hours of his arrest.
Prosecutors charge that Hernandez called Lloyd to his home on the night of June 17 and drove him, along with Ortiz and another friend, Ernest Wallace, to the industrial area where they say Hernandez shot Lloyd dead.
A spokesman for the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office, Gregg Miliote, said Ortiz now claims Hernandez was the only person who got out of the vehicle with Lloyd on the night of the murder, reversing previous testimony that Wallace had also left the vehicle.
Lawyers for Ortiz and Hernandez did not respond to requests for comment. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge and related firearms charges.
Lloyd, 27, had been dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancée. Prosecutors said Hernandez soured on him a few nights before the body was found and that the two had argued after Lloyd socialized at a nightclub with people Hernandez disliked.
Wallace has also been charged with accessory to murder after the fact, Sutter said.
NEWTON FINED $10,000: Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was fined $10,000 by the NFL on Friday for using unapproved Under Armour visor clips on his helmet.
The small, black clips with the logo blacked out violate the league’s equipment policy.
“No invisible identification of a manufacturer’s name or logo on the exterior of a helmet or on any attachment to a helmet is permitted unless provided for under a commercial arrangement between the League and manufacturer,” the rule states.
Forbes revealed the violation on Tuesday in an article that featured pictures of Newton’s helmet with the clips. Newton and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady are two of Under Armour’s most prominent clients. Under Armour pays Newton more than $1 million per year, according to Forbes.
Nike pays $1.1 billion to be the NFL’s official apparel partner through 2016.
SUH WON’T BE FINED FOR HIT: Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh won’t be fined by the NFL for hitting Arizona Cardinals’ quarterback in the helmet with his elbow during Week 2.
The league determined the blow was a violation of NFL rules, but there has been no explanation why it decided not to fine Suh.
The issue may have involved the timing of the NFL’s detection of the hit.
According to a ProFootballTalk.com report, the fact that the NFL did not notice the possible infraction while issuing its fines following Week 2 games made it difficult to levy penalties after Week 3.
Suh’s accumulation of previous fines put him on the brink of suspension.
If a suspension had been in order following a fine for Suh’s Week 2 act, the suspension should have been enacted for the Week 3 game against Washington, which would have benefited from the suspension. If the league had waited until after that game to issue a fine that led to a suspension, the Lions’ next foe, the Chicago Bears, would have benefited. That would have been the inappropriate game for the suspension to have an effect, given the timing of Suh’s offense.
CASSEL TO START FOR VIKINGS: Matt Cassel will start at quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings today, replacing injured Christian Ponder against the Pittsburgh Steelers when the teams meet at Wembley Stadium in London.
Christian Ponder attempted to practice with what was revealed Friday as a fractured rib. He was on the practice field for the third straight day, but coach Leslie Frazier is giving Cassel the start for the winless Vikings.
Frazier said Ponder, who is 30th in the NFL in passer rating at 65.9, has a rib fracture. Ponder said Friday the injury is near his heart.
The embattled quarterback, booed mightily in his home stadium in Minneapolis last week, split repetitions with Cassel Wednesday and Thursday.
Cassel was released by Kansas City after the Chiefs went 2-14 last season. He has 30 turnovers in his last 18 games.
RICE A GAME-DAY DECISION: Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice said Friday that he is a game-time decision against the Buffalo Bills today.
Rice is recovering from a strained hip flexor he sustained Sept. 15, which caused him to miss last Sunday’s game. It was the first time Rice missed a game since his rookie season in 2008.
“Barring no setbacks, there’s a chance I could be out there (today),” said Rice, who has been practicing this week. “I just have to go out there and warm up and see how it feels out there. I’ll let the coaches make the decision for me.”
John Harbaugh said Rice will be listed as either questionable or doubtful when the team releases its injury report later in the day.
“We’re hoping that he’ll get there,” Harbaugh said. “He has a better chance that he had last week. We’ll know (today). We have our fingers crossed.”
Bernard Pierce filled in for Rice against the Houston Texans in the 30-9 win. He had 24 carries for 65 yards with a touchdown.