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Carlos Ortiz’s mother fears for family’s life because of Aaron Hernandez

Carlos OrtizElba Ortiz, the mother of Aaron Hernandez’s associate Carlos Ortiz, has been living in fear since her son was arrested in connection with the murder of Odin Lloyd. Carlos has been consistent with his account of what happened the night Lloyd was killed in June, telling investigators that he was with Hernandez but that he did not know Lloyd was going to be murdered.

Ortiz would later tell police that Hernandez admitted to Ernest Wallace that he fired the shots that killed Lloyd. The information Ortiz has provided has been vital in the investigation, which is why Elba fears for the safety of her family.

In a candid interview with USA Today Sports, Elba revealed that she suffers panic attacks and has to take medication in addition to attending multiple therapy sessions a week. Since Carlos is in jail and he “ratted” on Hernandez, who is considered a hero in their hometown of Bristol, Conn., Elba worries that Hernandez supporters may target her, her children or her grandchildren.

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Rolling Stone writer Paul Solotaroff: Aaron Hernandez will be acquitted, return to NFL

Aaron Hernandez PatriotsAaron Hernandez remains behind bars at the Bristol County House of Corrections awaiting trial for the murder of Odin Lloyd. Given all the circumstantial evidence we have heard to this point, most people feel that a conviction is merely a formality. Paul Solotaroff of Rolling Stone magazine does not see it that way at all.

Solotaroff is the writer who wrote the lengthy piece about Hernandez that claimed the former tight end is an angel dust user who confided in Bill Belichick about gangsters trying to kill him. In an interview with CBS Sports Radio’s Doug Gottlieb on Wednesday, Solotaroff said he believes Hernandez will eventually be acquitted of his murder charge.

“I think (the case) is not only beatable, (but) I think he will be back in the NFL within three or four years,” he said. “I think they’ve grossly overcharged him based on the case they’re building – no direct eye witness, no murder weapon (and) no plausible motive.”

Solotaroff said he believes it will be easy to convict Hernandez on the five gun charges levied against him. However, he said he cannot see him doing any more than a few years in prison for that. Does that mean a return to the NFL is possible for a man who most have already labeled a murderer?

“As crazy as it sounds, this is a guy with no priors,” Solotaroff continued. “So asking a judge to sentence Hernandez to consecutive prison bids – rather than contemporary ones – is going to be a very hard sell for the prosecution. And if in fact he winds up doing three years behind (bars for) those gun charges – which would be a lot in this case – he’s 26, 27, with very low mileage on those legs of his and a lot of time to heal up. My sources tell me there will be more than one NFL team pursuing him hotly when he walks out of jail in four years.”

It is certainly legitimate food for thought. Based on the evidence the prosecution claims it has against Hernandez, I’m personally hoping there is enough for a jury to convict the 23-year-old. But if there is not, plenty of NFL teams will be willing to give him a look.

Investigators have searched extensively for the murder weapon that was used to kill Lloyd, but they have not — to our knowledge — had any luck in uncovering it. Without that gun, the case against Hernandez will be a lot weaker than prosecutors would like it to be.

H/T Shutdown Corner

Bill Belichick reportedly advised Aaron Hernandez to rent a safe house and lay low

Aaron HernandezThroughout the entire Aaron Hernandez murder investigation, people have wondered what exactly the New England Patriots knew about their former tight end’s life off the football field. It has become obvious that Hernandez hung around with a shady crowd and did his best to continue living the life of a thug, but to what extent were the Patriots aware of his indiscretions?

In a lengthy Rolling Stone piece that examine’s Hernandez’s life since childhood, Bill Belichick’s alleged knowledge of the 23-year-old’s crumbling personal life becomes a bit more clear. This past spring, before Odin Lloyd was shot and killed, Belichick had reportedly warned Hernandez that he was down to his final strike with the team.

Rolling Stone’s Paul Solotaroff claims Belichick was made aware of a domestic dispute at Hernandez’s Hermosa Beach, Calif. rental in March, where police were called after Hernandez allegedly put his fist through a window. No arrest was made, but Belichick reportedly “exploded” on Hernandez and told him he would be traded or cut at the end of the 2013 if he didn’t shape up.

In February, prior to the Hermosa Beach incident, Hernandez had reportedly flown to the NFL Combine in Indianapolis to confide in Belichick that he believed his life was in danger. A source told Solotaroff that Hernandez explained to Belichick that he was worried a group of gangsters he had befriended were “trying to kill him.”

According to a close Hernandez associate, Belichick advised the former Florida Gator to rent a safe house and lay low for a while. It is believed that he followed the advice by later renting an apartment in Franklin, Mass., though I highly doubt Belichick envisioned it becoming the so called “flophouse” where investigators seized several pieces of evidence after being led there by Carlos Oritz.

As we shared with you on Tuesday, the Rolling Stone article also claimed Hernandez was a heavy angel dust user who carried a gun around with him for safety. One friend of Hernandez’s family speculated that his use of angel dust, which can alter a person’s mentality, led to his paranoia.

“Don’t matter what it’s about: Aaron’s out of his mind,” the friend said. “He’s been twisted on dust now for more than a year, which is when all of this crazy sh– started.”

Previous reports have indicated that Hernandez had gang ties and feared for his life, so that seems to be a common theme. Whether or not his alleged drug use made those fears too much to handle remains a mystery.

Report: Aaron Hernandez was heavy angel dust user

Aaron HernandezAaron Hernandez was a heavy angel dust user and close to being cut by Bill Belichick because of his conduct, according to a new report.

Rolling Stone did some serious investigation into the life and background of Hernandez for a story called “The Gangster in the Huddle.” In a tease to the informative story, the magazine reveals six shocking items about the former New England Patriots tight end, who has been charged with first-degree murder in one case and may be facing murder charges in another case.

According to Rolling Stone’s Paul Solotaroff, Hernandez was a heavy angel dust user and so paranoid because of the drug that he began carrying a gun everywhere.

Angel dust is the street name for PCP, which is one of the most dangerous drugs around. It can be smoked, inhaled or ingested, and can completely alter a person’s mentality, making them very aggressive and violent in some cases.

Solotaroff says Hernandez surrounded himself with gangsters and cut himself off from his family and teammates.

Hernandez reportedly infuriated Belichick by missing practices and living the thug life, and was one misstep away from being cut.

Both of Hernandez’s parents had criminal records, as did most of his extended family. Hernandez’s mother cheated on her husband with a violent drug dealer, and then married the drug dealer and moved him into their home after her husband died.

Solotaroff also says Urban Meyer may have helped cover up positive drug tests while Hernandez was in college at the University of Florida. He says Meyer may have helped cover up two violent incidents involving Hernandez, both of which have previously been reported — a 2007 shooting in Gainesville, and a bar fight in which the tight end assaulted a bouncer. We previously wrote that Florida may have paid off the bouncer in that case.

Hernandez fell in the NFL Draft because of concerns over his character and drug use. The Patriots still rewarded the talented tight end with a $40 million contract extension last August that included $12.5 million guaranteed.

Though most of this information is shocking, some of it has been slowly emerging. We shared a recent report that said Hernandez’s mother was part of an illegal gambling operation. There was another story saying that Hernandez’s mother was once stabbed by her second husband.

H/T WEEI Patriots Blog

NFLPA files grievance with Patriots over Aaron Hernandez workout bonus

Aaron Hernandez PatriotsThe NFLPA reportedly has filed a grievance with the New England Patriots over money Aaron Hernandez was owed by the team.

Hernandez signed a five-year, $40 million extension with the Pats last August. The deal called for a $12.5 million signing bonus. Hernandez already collected $9.25 million from the new deal that the Pats will not be able to recoup, but the team did not pay the $82k workout bonus due Aug. 1 and will not pay the remaining $3.2 million Hernandez would be owed in March.

The Patriots cut Hernandez in July when he was implicated in the murder of Odin Lloyd. He was indicted on first-degree murder charges last week.

Teams can recover bonus money and avoid salary cap hits if a player violates the league’s personal conduct policy.

I’m guessing the NFLPA will be unsuccessful in their efforts for this one. It’s kind of hard to win cases involving alleged murderers.

Aaron Hernandez indicted in Odin Lloyd murder case

Aaron HernandezFormer New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was formally indicted by a grand jury in the murder of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd on Thursday. The indictment, which was reported by CBS Boston and confirmed by Fall River Superior Court, came on the same day that Hernandez was due back in an Attleboro courtroom for a probable cause hearing.

Rather than laying out the evidence investigators have collected against Hernandez to make the case that he should remain in jail without bail, Bristol County prosecutors instead officially arraigned Hernandez. Last month, a judge granted a delay after prosecutors requested more time to present evidence against the 23-year-old to a grand jury. Without an indictment, Hernandez’s attorneys would have argued for his release on Thursday.

The official indictment follows a report from earlier this week that indicated the gun that was used in a 2012 double murder was found in Hernandez’s hometown of Bristol, Conn. It was reportedly uncovered in the car of a 19-year-old woman who has been arrested three times in the past year and was involved in a car crash in June. Prosecutors have been trying to make a case against Hernandez in the 2012 murders.

Aaron Hernandez’s mother was reportedly part of a ‘big-time’ gambling operation

Aaron HernandezThe more we learn about Aaron Hernandez as he awaits trial for the murder of Odin Lloyd, the more we come to understand how troubled his past was. When Hernandez was 16, his father died unexpectedly following an infection that stemmed from a routine hernia surgery. Most people have pinpointed that tragic event as the moment where it all went wrong, but the roots run deeper than that.

When Hernandez was in sixth grade, his mother Terri Hernandez reportedly began taking bets for an illegal sports gambling organization. In a story about Hernandez’s past that was published in the Boston Globe on Thursday, Bob Hohler outlined some of the details regarding the gambling ring.

In 2001, Terri was arrested and charged with professional gambling for her involvement with the illegal operation. Police wiretaps allegedly intercepted her relaying several sports betting lines for games involving a number of teams, including — coincidentally — the New England Patriots. A man named Martin Hovanesian, Terri’s alleged accomplice, was convicted of felony racketeering and professional gambling.

“It was a big-time operation in a little town,’’ Hovanesian’s lawyer Williams Gerace told Hohler. “She was the phone operator, a minor player, not the brains.”

[Related: Aaron Hernandez's mother was stabbed by his stepfather]

The outcome of Terri’s case is not available under Connecticut law. That would have been five years before Hernandez’s father passed away, so it gives you an idea of the type of activity he was surrounded by at a young age.

Before you start accusing us of making excuses for Hernandez, we assure you we are not. Plenty of people come from horrible pasts without allegedly being involved in a murder later in life. But countless questions have been asked about how someone who signed a $40 million NFL contract could simply throw it all away. While Hernandez’s troubled past doesn’t excuse that, it could help explain why.