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Aaron Hernandez jerseys removed from Patriots, NFL shop

Aaron Hernandez jersey

The New England Patriots wasted no time distancing themselves from Aaron Hernandez after the tight end was arrested and charged with first-degree murder on Wednesday. Less than two hours after the arrest, the Pats announced they released Hernandez. They have continued to cut ties from Hernandez as he faces serious charges.

Hernandez’s jersey is no longer being advertised for sale at the Patriots’ Proshop online. A search for “Hernandez” in the pro shop returned no results.

Aaron Hernandez Patriots Pro Shop

You can find Tim Tebow, Stevan Ridley, Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady and Danny Amendola jerseys for sale. Even Danny Woodhead, Wes Welker, and Deion Branch jerseys are available, though those are being sold at discounted prices.

The jerseys have been removed from NFLShop.com.

“We decided it was the appropriate step to take,” an NFL spokesman told USA Today.

Is the team and league acting in this manner because they have more information about the investigation than the public? Regardless, it seems like they are handling the situation appropriately given the severity of the charges.

See all the LBS coverage of the Aaron Hernandez murder case

Aaron Hernandez charged with murder

Aaron HernandezFormer New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Odin Lloyd and five other firearm-related charges in Attleboro District Court on Wednesday afternoon. He pleaded not guilty to all six charges.

The prosecution revealed details of the investigation during the arraignment. The key takeaway from the arraignment was the prosecution’s assertion that Hernandez “orchestrated Lloyd’s execution.”

One of the more shocking details alleged that Hernandez’s own surveillance camera showed him walking around his house with a gun after the murder. A shell casing was also reportedly found in Hernandez’s rental car that matched shell casings found at the scene.

The prosecution also said that Hernandez and Lloyd got into a car together at 2:32 a.m. the morning of the murder. Surveillance cameras and a witness allegedly placed them there. Hernandez was reportedly angry with Lloyd after an incident that took place at a nightclub on Friday night.

[Related: Video of Aaron Hernandez being arrested at his home]

At 3:07 a.m. on the night he was killed, Lloyd reportedly sent a text message to his sister asking, “You know who I’m with?” He then followed up with another message at 3:23 a.m that read “NFL…just so you know.” It was reported last week that Hernandez’s neighbors heard gunshots at some point between 3:00 a.m and 3:30 a.m.

Police also claim to have surveillance video of Hernandez, while holding a firearm, saying he can’t trust anyone anymore. Lloyd is believed to have been speaking to one or more people at the nightclub that Hernandez did not like the previous Friday.

The prosecution also alleged that Hernandez drove home after Lloyd was killed, entered his house with a gun and then disposed of the gun. They say he then proceeded to disconnect his surveillance camera, which was not in operation for six to eight hours after the murder was committed. Hernandez exchanged his rental car for another vehicle the next day.

Despite Hernandez’s attorney’s attempt to convince the judge that the case was “weak” and the evidence “circumstantial,” the court ruled that he be held without bail pending further proceedings.

If the evidence presented by the prosecution holds up, Hernandez might as well have been filming a documentary of the murder.

Aaron Hernandez murder investigation timeline:
Hernandez is questioned in connection with murder
Reports say Hernandez drove car with Odin Lloyd in it night he was murdered
Hernandez reportedly destroys his home security system and cell phone
Hernandez’s neighbors say they heard gunshots morning of murder
Hernandez gets banned from Patriots’ facility
Patriots release Hernandez following arrest

Aaron Hernandez will reportedly be held without bail, leading to speculation of ‘serious charges’

Aaron Hernandez PatriotsAaron Hernandez was arrested on Thursday morning and is expected to be held without bail after his arraignment, according to FOX 25 in Boston. He is scheduled to be arraigned at 2 p.m. in Attleboro District Court. From there, it is believed Hernandez will be transported to Bristol County House of Correction and held without bail.

While the charges against Hernandez remain unknown until his arraignment, it is being widely speculated by FOX 25 and others that the 23-year-old will be facing “serious charges.” As you know, Hernandez reportedly destroyed his home security system and cell phone before turning them over to authorities  That led to speculation that he could be charged with obstruction of justice. However, it is highly unlikely that he would be held without bail unless there was a more serious charge.

[Related: Video of Aaron Hernandez being arrested at his home]

Legal experts have also called attention to the fact that Hernandez was not given the option to turn himself in and avoid being handcuffed in front of the media on Thursday morning. Officers even handcuffed him before he was allowed to put a shirt on, which again would seem to indicate he is going to be brought up on serious charges.

It’s important to point out that this is all speculation at this point, but a number of analysts and legal experts seem to agree that all signs point to very bad news for Hernandez. The fact that the Patriots released him so abruptly after he was arrested would support that theory, as NFL teams have security staff members who work closely with local authorities and would have access to information the public may not.

We’ll have more on this leading up to and after Hernandez is formally charged.

See all the LBS coverage of the Aaron Hernandez murder case

Aaron Hernandez released by New England Patriots

Less than two hours after Massachusetts State Police arrested Aaron Hernandez at his home in North Attleboro, the New England Patriots announced that they have released the 23-year-old tight end.

Aaron HernandezWhile the move isn’t exactly shocking given the fact that Hernandez currently has strong ties to a murder investigation, it is surprising that the Patriots moved so quickly. Hernandez’s charges aren’t even being revealed to the public until he is arraigned in court on Wednesday, but it’s obvious New England either knows more than we do or wants nothing to do with the distraction anymore.

The Patriots released a statement immediately following Hernandez’s release, which the Boston Globe’s Shalize Manza Young shared with us:

“A young man was murdered last week and we extend our sympathies to the family and friends who mourn his loss. 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 he right thing to do.”

[Related: Video of Aaron Hernandez being arrested at his home]

Clearly, the Patriots do not think there’s a chance that Hernandez is completely innocent. At the very least, many have speculated Hernandez will be charged with obstruction of justice after he destroyed potential evidence and turned it over to police. As Ross Tucker of the NBC Sports Network pointed out, NFL teams have security departments who have close relationships with local authorities, so it would be safe to assume the team knows more about the case than the public.

I mentioned earlier how I expect investigators to move slowly and meticulously given the high-profile nature of the case. Apparently the same was not true at all for the Patriots organization.

See all the LBS coverage of the Aaron Hernandez murder case

Aaron Hernandez reportedly told Wes Welker ‘I’ll f— you up!’

Aaron HernandezThe more we hear about Aaron Hernandez, the more we realize how many warning signs the New England Patriots were given prior to and after drafting him in the 2010 NFL Draft. We all knew about the failed drug tests because of Hernandez’s marijuana habit, but it has become obvious that the issues ran much deeper than that.

In the wake of the ongoing murder investigation that has resulted in a warrant reportedly being issued for the 23-year-old’s arrest, stories about Hernandez’s past have been popping up all over. One of them, from Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe, cites an NFL source who claims Hernandez blew a gasket on former Patriots receiver Wes Welker within days of being drafted.

According to the source, Hernandez could not figure out how to use the equipment in the film room and asked Welker for help. Welker decided to welcome him to the NFL by jokingly saying “rookie, you figure it out,” which infuriated Hernandez. The story said the former Gator “responded with expletives” but Shalise Manza Young elaborated on Twitter.

“Hernandez response was, ‘F— you, Wes, I’ll f— you up!’” she wrote.

And apparently, Hernandez was not joking.

[Related: Neighbors reportedly heard gunshots morning of murder]

The Globe also cited NFL scouts and former Florida staffers who said there have always been concerns about the people Hernandez hangs out with and the fact that he spends more personal time with his friends from Connecticut than his teammates. One scout said Hernandez had trouble keeping himself on a straight path after his father died from hernia surgery complications the year before he left Connecticut for Florida.

Another scout said Hernandez was considered the toughest kid on the Gators team and “no one will mess with him.”

A player with a temper and an attitude problem is one thing. The Patriots took a risk drafting Hernandez, but no one could have foreseen a murder investigation that involves destroying potential evidence.

See all the LBS coverage of the Aaron Hernandez murder case

Aaron Hernandez reportedly kicked out of Patriots’ facility

Aaron HernandezAaron Hernandez was kicked out of the New England Patriots’ facility when he showed up to Gillette Stadium in Foxboro on Thursday, the Boston Herald reports.

According to The Herald, Hernandez was allowed inside the building when he showed up for a workout on Thursday, but staff members were waiting for him and instructed him to leave.

Hernandez is currently being investigated in the murder case of Odin Lloyd, a friend who was found dead on Monday about a mile from the Patriots tight end’s North Attleboro, Mass., home.

The Herald also reported that Hernandez and Lloyd sat at a roped-off VIP table at Rumor nightclub in Boston last Friday. A previous report said Hernandez was with Lloyd and two others at a bar the night of the murder, and that he was driving a vehicle containing Lloyd and two others that returned without Lloyd.

Hernandez has not been arrested yet in connection with the case, but a report said one was forthcoming. Hernandez also reportedly is acting like he has something to hide; he supposedly destroyed his cell phone and home security system.

Hernandez was said to be uncooperative with police at first, but that may no longer be the case. The Patriots tight end reportedly is being represented legally by attorneys from Ropes & Gray.

See all the LBS coverage of the Aaron Hernandez murder case

Photo: Stew Milne-US PRESSWIRE

Aaron Hernandez’s neighbors reportedly heard gunshots morning of murder

Aaron Hernandez PatriotsAaron Hernandez has not been arrested or charged of a crime in the murder case of Odin Lloyd, but it seems like one or the other has to be coming based on some of the information that is circulating.

The latest report says that Hernandez’s neighbors heard gunshots within minutes of Hernandez and two others walking into the New England Patriots tight end’s home. FOX 25 in Boston says there is video evidence of Hernandez and two other men wearing hooded sweatshirts walking into Hernandez’s home within minutes of neighbors hearing gunshots. FOX 25 reports that the gunshots were heard between 3 and 3:30 a.m. on Monday morning, but the neighbors did not immediately report it to police.

FOX 25 also added another new detail to the story.

Hernandez reportedly was seen at Lloyd’s home in Dorchester, Mass., about an hour before he walked into his home.

Previous reports said that Hernandez was heavily connected to the murder case. He reportedly was the driver of a car where Lloyd and two others were passengers, and the group reportedly returned without Lloyd. Now we’re hearing about him being at Lloyd’s home the morning of the murder, and about neighbors hearing gunshots that morning.

Oh yeah, and then Hernandez destroyed his cell phone and hard drive for his home security system. If he doesn’t have anything to hide, he sure is going about it in the wrong way.

See all the LBS coverage of the Aaron Hernandez murder case