Patriots offering fans free exchange of Aaron Hernandez jerseys

Aaron-hernandez-jerseysThe New England Patriots have done all they can to separate themselves from Aaron Hernandez since he was arrested and charged with murder earlier this week. Less than two hours after he was taken into custody, the Patriots announced they released their former tight end. Later that night, all Hernandez merchandise was wiped from the team’s online Proshop.

The Patriots took it a step further on Friday when they announced that they were giving fans an opportunity to exchange their No. 81 Hernandez jerseys for any other jersey in their ProShop, free of charge. The swap is only for jerseys that were purchased at the Patriots official Proshop and will be held on July 6 and 7.

“We know that children love wearing their Patriots jerseys, but may not understand why parents don’t want them wearing their Hernandez jerseys anymore,” Patriots spokesperson Stacey James said in a statement. “We hope this opportunity to exchange those jerseys at the Patriots ProShop for another player’s jersey will be well received by parents.”

Obviously, this is all about brand protection for the Patriots. The fact that they drafted a player with a checkered past who went on to be charged with first-degree murder is not great for the team’s image. Not only that, but Hernandez is being investigated for a double murder that took place last summer. If he was involved with that, New England would have had a criminal on their roster for all of last season.

Whether it’s a PR stunt or not, I’m sure parents appreciate it. If I had a 10-year-old who had a Hernandez jersey, I’d be exchanging it for a Tom Brady jersey — stat.

Ernest Wallace, suspect in Odin Lloyd murder, has been captured

Ernest-WallaceErnest Wallace, the 41-year-old suspect who has been tied to the Odin Lloyd murder investigation, has been captured. Massachusetts State Police confirmed Wallace had been taken into custody on Friday afternoon, less than 24 hours after police put out wanted posters with information on Wallace in an attempt to track him down. He was found in Miramar, Fla.

Wallace’s capture means three men have now been brought into custody in connection with the Lloyd murder, one of them being Aaron Hernandez. On Wednesday, 27-year-old Carlos Ortiz was arrested in Connecticut and charged as a fugitive of justice. A judge ordered that he be turned over to Massachusetts authorities on Friday.

[Related: Aaron Hernandez reportedly rented SUV used in 2012 double murder]

The details from the Lloyd murder have been unfolding rapidly. Early Friday morning, a rental car that prosecutors believe Hernandez rented so his accomplices could flee the state was seized in Bristol, Conn. Wallace was reportedly the last person seen driving the Chrysler 300, but his whereabouts were unknown at the time police impounded the vehicle.

It is unclear exactly how authorities believe Wallace was involved with the murder of Lloyd, although I’m sure that information will become clearer in the very near future. According to the Boston Globe, Ortiz was seen on surveillance video entering Hernandez’s home in North Attleboro at about 3:30 a.m. on June 17 armed with a handgun.

See all the LBS coverage of the Aaron Hernandez murder case

Photo: FOX 25 Boston

Police locate rental car prosecutors say Aaron Hernandez rented so accomplices could get away


North Attleboro police confirmed on Friday morning that the Chrysler 300 they had been searching for in connection with the murder of Odin Lloyd has been located in Bristol, Conn. The car is believed to have been rented by Aaron Hernandez and has also been tied to 41-year-old Ernest Wallace, for whom police are searching.

Wallace was last seen driving the Chrysler, which you see above courtesy of the Boston Globe’s Wesley Lowery, and is considered to be armed and dangerous. The car was seized early Friday morning.

On Thursday, police issued a wanted poster for Wallace, who is accused of being an accessory after the fact in the murder of Lloyd. Fox 25 Boston shared a photo of the poster and other photos of Wallace here:

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Aaron Hernandez reportedly rented SUV used in 2012 shooting

Aaron Hernandez PatriotsNot only is Aaron Hernandez facing a first-degree murder charge for the death of Odin Lloyd, five additional charges, and a potential lawsuit for allegedly shooting a friend, but he is also being investigated for potential ties to a 2012 double murder in Boston.

And his alleged involvement in the case is looking a lot stronger.

On Thursday, LBS’ Steve DelVecchio wrote that police reportedly had located and impounded the SUV involved in the 2012 shooting. Witnesses said the alleged killers opened fire from a gray or silver SUV with Rhode Island plates and killed two men while they were stopped at a red light. The report DelVecchio cited said police believed Hernandez rented the car.

Later on Thursday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Boston PD located the SUV in question and that Hernandez rented it.

Let’s make that clear one more time: Aaron Hernandez supposedly rented the SUV used in a 2012 double murder, allegedly shot a friend in the face in February, and prosecutors allege he orchestrated the murder of Odin Lloyd, which also involved a rented SUV.

Like Steve said, the common theme here when it comes to alleged killings involving Hernandez is rental cars. The 2012 double murder may also be the motive behind the killing of Lloyd.

See all the LBS coverage of the Aaron Hernandez murder case

Fans chant ‘Innocent!’ at Aaron Hernandez after he leaves courthouse (Video)

Fans-cheer-Aaron-HernandezThe evidence being compiled against Aaron Hernandez regarding the murder of Odin Lloyd gets more compelling by the hour, but that does not mean the former New England Patriots tight end has been abandoned by his entire fan base. As he was leaving Bristol County Courthouse following his bail hearing on Thursday, a collection of fans lined the streets and cheered for Hernandez.

There is a reason Hernandez has been charged with first-degree murder and is being held without bail. Whether he murdered Lloyd or not, there is enough circumstantial evidence to suggest he could very well be guilty. Not only that, but investigators are also building a case that indicates Hernandez was involved in another double murder a year ago.

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Police reportedly impound SUV tied to 2012 double murder that may have been rented by Aaron Hernandez

Aaron HernandezAaron Hernandez’s possible involvement in a July 2012 double murder that took place in Boston has become a bit clearer, as Boston Police have reportedly located and impounded a silver SUV that may be tied to the shooting. According to CNN.com, investigators believe Hernandez was renting the vehicle at the time of the double murder last summer.

On Thursday morning, multiple reports revealed that Hernandez is being investigated as a possible suspect in the July 2012 incident. Later, a report from the Boston Globe claimed that law enforcement officials have reason to believe Hernandez may have killed 27-year-old Odin Lloyd earlier this month because Lloyd had information about the double murder.

[Related: Was this Aaron Hernandez's murder weapon?]

A Boston Police blog entry from last year stated that two men, Safiro Furtado and Daniel Abreu, were shot to death while they sat in their car at a red light. The shooting is believed to have stemmed from a fight that had broken out at Rumor nightclub in Boston earlier in the night between two men and a group that included Hernandez. According to witnesses, the shooters opened fire on the victims from a gray or silver SUV with Rhode Island license plates.

Coincidentally (or not), the silver SUV police reportedly impounded on Thursday that they believe was rented last year by Hernandez had a Rhode Island registration.

Common theme: Rental cars.

See all the LBS coverage of the Aaron Hernandez murder case

Prosecutor: Gun in Aaron Hernandez photo may have been murder weapon

Aaron Hernandez gun

Aaron Hernandez was denied bail at his appeal on Thursday, with judge Renee Dupuis calling the case the prosecution has made against the former New England Patriots tight end “very, very strong,” albeit circumstantial. During the hearing, Bristol County Assistant District Attorney William McCauley introduced some new evidence.

On Wednesday, the photo you see above began circling around the internet. It was allegedly taken when Hernandez was still in college at Florida, but it may be a key piece of evidence. According to McCauley, investigators have reason to believe that the firearm that was used to kill Odin Lloyd was a Glock, because Glocks have “a rifling system that is different from most firearms.” The gun Hernandez is holding in the picture is also a Glock.

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