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Archive for June, 2013


 

A third man tied to Aaron Hernandez and wanted in connection with the slaying of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd has been arrested in Florida, Massachusetts State Police announced Friday.

Ernest Wallace, 41, was found in Miramar, Fla.

Police announced Thursday night that Wallace was wanted as an accessory after the fact in the Lloyd homicide. Hernandez, the former New England Patriots tight end, has been arrested on a charge of first-degree murder in the killing. Hernandez entered a plea of not guilty.

Police believed Wallace was driving a silver or grey Chrysler 300. That vehicle was recovered in Bristol, Conn., Hernandez’s hometown, the Boston Globe reported.

SECOND ARREST: Ortiz cries in court, extradited to Mass.

FLORIDA SHOOTING: Lawyer says Hernandez left man to die

Carlos Ortiz, arrested Wednesday also in connection with the homicide investigation, is also from Bristol. He appeared in a Bristol court Friday morning for an extradition hearing, and was taken to Massachusetts.

Wallace has a criminal record in Connecticut, with convictions for drunken driving and various misdemeanor charges. Massachusetts police had considered Wallace to be armed and dangerous.

Prosecutors said Wednesday in a North Attleborough, Mass. court that Hernandez was with two associates he summoned from Connecticut before Lloyd was killed on June 17. Prosecutors said surveillance video from Hernandez’s home shows three men, including Hernandez, entering his home and carrying guns just minutes after Lloyd was shot five times and left in an industrial park less than a mile from Hernandez’s home.

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By Alex Prewitt

(Doug Kapustin for The Washington Post)

(Doug Kapustin for The Washington Post)

(EDITOR’S NOTE: If you haven’t already, read Alex Prewitt’s profile of former Maryland center Alex Len. It’s well worth your time, and puts this post in much better context.)

It began with a picture. A picture and a promise.

No sooner had Essence Townsend stepped off the train two summers ago when she was whisked away to College Park, straight to an ice cream social for University of Maryland athletes. The Terrapins women’s basketball players typically mingle with the men, and this afternoon was no exception. Townsend and her teammates sidled up to their friends, when among the crowd she noticed a new head peering across the fray.

Townsend, the women’s team’s tallest player at 6 feet 7, first introduced herself to Alex Len. She spoke slow and loud, emphasizing her syllables so the 7-1 freshman could understand her, even though he barely knew any English and had just arrived in the United States, fresh off a plane from his native Ukraine. As Townsend chatted away, one of her teammates snapped a picture. Townsend grew furious.

“Why’d you do that?” she said. “You better delete that right now.”

Her teammates were laughing. Tianna Hawkins, a Maryland forward and the rogue photographer, was more predictive.

“That’s going to be your future man,” she said.

Townsend will sit beside Len on Thursday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., watching as NBA Commissioner David Stern steps to the lectern and reads her boyfriend’s name. Len’s selection is likely to come early in the night, maybe even first to the Cleveland Cavaliers, though perhaps Len won’t hobble onto the stage until later inthe lottery. But what matters is that she’s there. She’s always been there and always will be, no matter what comes next.

***

She sees herself in Len. The independence, fortified throughout childhood. The sacrifices, made for family. The dreams, achieved through struggle. Townsend was raised on welfare by her great aunt in New Jersey, the oldest sibling within the family. She grew up fast, working summer camps to contribute to the family, but never labored during the school year. Basketball was her ticket away, so not even a job would jeopardize that.

Until she was 17 years old, Townsend never even considered playing Division I basketball. Maybe a local community college. Never outside of Jersey. Things changed once her great aunt passed away. Townsend withdrew, heartbroken by the death of the woman who raised her since she was 3. She needed to get away. Except at Maryland, Townsend was even more alone. Freshman year, she trusted no one. Why would she? They didn’t know her. She got kicked out of practice, allowing a bad attitude to infiltrate her game. But after a talk with Coach Brenda Frese, Townsend diagnosed the problem. She was 19 years old and needed people to look after her.

“I’m 23 and I’m happy with the things I’ve done in my past,” Townsend said. “I had to grow up fast. That’s what makes me who I am today. I wasn’t raised with a silver spoon in my mouth. I know how it feels to work for the things I want. And now that I understand that, I appreciate it so much more.”

She was a junior when Len first arrived, wide-eyed and nervous over assimilating into the American college life. They passed each other in the Comcast Center hallways, and he always said hello. Sometimes, when the women’s team exited practice and the men were stretching in the hallway, Len offered a high-five. Soon, as 21st-century relationships tend to do, they began talking on Facebook. Eventually, Len asked her to hang out. They kept pushing back the dates, but when it finally happened, they talked for eight hours straight. “From there, every single day, we hung out,” she said.

She tried to avoid complicated phrases, but communicating was still a struggle at the beginning. He still confuses words sometimes, but Townsend always offers a helpful, “Do you mean this?” They developed a routine, walking to Chipotle, eating at their usual spot on the campus’s grassy mall then watching a movie in one of their rooms. Len’s teammates always told Townsend that he was into her, but she never believed it until that first time they hung out.

“He said, ‘I like you,’ ” Townsend said. “I said: ‘I’m not going to lie. I’m not going to say I hate you, but I don’t really know you like that.’

“He said, ‘Okay, we’re going to get to know each other.’ ”

***

They live together now, in a modern three-bedroom Hyattsville apartment, furnished yet otherwise empty, given that Len will soon move out. Beside the flat-screen television are boxes of games, Jenga and Monopoly. On the table is a 1,750-piece puzzle of Times Square that Townsend and Len will finish later that night.

That routine they’ve developed? It now includes tri-weekly trips to the movies. They have different tastes, but always concede for the other. Len persuaded her to see “The Great Gatbsy.” She wound up enjoying it. After more than a year together – their official anniversary is March 5 – Townsend trusts that he knows her tastes.

Townsend gets a rare glimpse into an otherwise enigmatic figure, one who was closed off to reporters for the entirety of his freshman season. But the walls crash down when they’re together. For her birthday, they went to the circus on a whim. He Facetimes or Skypes her from the road, and she does the same. They love trying new local restaurants, but when in doubt fall back onto fast food. Who needs five-star spots when Five Guys suffices just fine?

“I think it’s helping him a lot,” said Len’s former roommate and teammate, John Auslander. “Help keep him grounded. You spend so much time with basketball, working to get better, it’s good to get your mind off it. She can help do that, help him with little things, just help him relax and get away from the game. They’re awesome. As close as can be. They love each other. She was pretty much living with him this past year too. I know they’re close. Obviously, when they walk down the street, everybody will look at them.”

Of course, that’s what separates Len and Townsend from the typical couple. Their relationship grew on the court, through late-night workouts after a particularly souring loss or games of one-on-one. Len’s mother, Juliya, loves Townsend’s serious approach to everyday life. She says, in Russian, that she sees the way they look at each other. That’s the most important thing.

***

One of Townsend’s favorite movie is “Love & Basketball,” the 2000 romantic drama that’s become a cliché for every hoops-related romance since. The film is separated into four quarters, mimicking a basketball game, each section representing a different challenge for the on-screen couple. First, it’s meeting. Next comes high school. Then college. Finally, the professional level.

It’s this final transition that now looms ahead like an ominous cloud for Len and Townsend. Except these two are storm chasers. They’ll drive straight into the eye together.

Townsend will stay at Maryland. A torn ACL during a preseason scrimmage last season gave her one final season. Friends sometimes wonder why she wouldn’t just follow Len into the NBA, especially now that she earned her bachelor’s degree in family sciences.

“Some people say I’m so stupid,” she said. “No, I’m going to finish what I started here and let him get started there and we’ll see where we’re at. I think that would be too big of a step. I want him to get adjusted to his new life, just like he had to get adjusted here.”

Len’s mother will move in with him for several months, wherever he winds up, and he promises he will pony up for Townsend’s visits. Townsend has always been that even-keel influence for Len, available to work out on a moment’s notice and always sending encouraging texts, even during the middle of games. Between Juliya Len, a former runner who risked everything by sending her son away at age 13, and Townsend, it’s easy to see how Len remains so grounded, capable of shrugging away incomprehensible riches and saying he’ll probably just give his paychecks to his mom.

The future remains uncertain for the couple, but they’ve already discussed the immediate next step. Kind of. ESPN’s cameras will surely have a field day with Townsend and Len at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, championing the couple who caused Bill Simmons to quip, “I’m drafting their kids.” Two years ago, when Len was still deciding his future in America, a Czech forward named Jan Vesely heard himself picked sixth overall by the Washington Wizards, stood up from his round table, buttoned his suit and gave two deep kisses to his girlfriend.

ESPN’s Bill Simmons brought this moment up to Len in a recent interview he did for the Grantland Network. On camera, when Jalen Rose asked if Len would do the same, he replied, “Yeah probably.” After the interview was released, Townsend texted him.

“I’ll be waiting for my kiss,” she wrote. After all, it sounded like a promise.

 

Former NBA star Gilbert Arenas was once known for creating fireworks on the court with his exciting style of play, but actual fireworks have now gotten him into a bit of hot water with the law.

According to TMZ, Arenas was pulled over early Thursday morning in Los Angeles for speeding. The officers who pulled him over soon found that Arenas’ truck was chock full of illegal fireworks, so he was arrested and charged with possession of illegal fireworks and speeding. 

Arenas’ arsenal of fireworks was apparently quite dangerous, as TMZ is also reporting that a bomb squad was called in order to take care of the 20 boxes he was transporting.

The three-time NBA All-Star is no stranger to legal trouble. Arenas was suspended for much of the 2009-10 season and sentenced to 30 days in a halfway house after he and former Washington Wizards teammate Javaris Crittenton drew guns on each other in the Wizards’ locker room on Christmas Eve, 2009.

By Glenn Erby

Police may have finally had all the evidence or probable cause that was needed, because Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was taken into custody early this morning outside of his North Attleboro, Mass., home. This comes a day after one of Hernandez’s attorneys blasted the media for their handling of his story and inaccurate reporting of an arrest warrant. The charge for Hernandez is expected to be obstruction of justice. Here is the video of the arrest.

By Rodger Bohn

Aquille Carr’s professional career has began and a lot of things have came to fruition sooner rather than later. After posting 15 points and 8 assists in Chengdu followed by 9 points and 7 assists in Shenzhen against the Bayi Rockets during the USA Legends Tour, Carr was offered a contract in China for next season.

“How does it feel to have your first CBA contract offer?” Qingdao Double Star owner Max Shicanbin surprised Carr with during the press conference.

Shocked, Carr said that he would have to talk with his agent. However, Tracy McGrady stepped in and volunteered to assume the role.

“We want stability,” McGrady said in his new role of player representative. “We also want a guaranteed contract and position on the team.”

For those unaware, the CBA is China’s top division and Qingdao is the team that T-Mac himself played for last season. CityLeagueHoops had the chance to talk with Carr after the game and he was humbled by the opportunity to spend a full year in China.

“It feels good. I came out here with an opportunity to show my talent and they really appreciate me,” Carr said of his time in China playing alongside T-Mac, Jason Williams,Gary Payton and Co. on the tour. “I love the atmosphere, the fans, and the games here. The only thing is the food, but I’m trying my best to get used to that.”

While it’s far from a certainty at this point that the Crime Stopper will be wearing a Qingdao jersey next season, the team appears to be putting the full court press on the 19-year old point guard.

0624-kevin-durant-instagram

Jay-Z is putting Jerry McGuire to shame — because his budding sports agency just signed three-time NBA all-star Kevin Durant.

The OKC Thunder superstar just posted an Instagram of he and Jay signing docs that make him Roc Nation Sport’s newest client.Durant is the latest in a growing list of HUGE athletes jumping ship to Jay’s new venture … like NY Yankee Robinson Cano, NASCAR superstar Dale Earnhardt Jr., and NY Jet Geno Smith. Durant is Jigga’s first NBA star.FYI — Durant is currently in the middle of a massive 5-year, $89 million contract with the Thunder. His move to Roc Nation has more to do with landing big money deals off the court.

Doc Rivers To The Clippers

Celtics, Clippers Reportedly Agree in Principle to Deal For Doc Rivers

 TIM KEENEY

Screenshot2013-06-23at3

 After much speculation surrounding a potential move, the Los Angeles Clippers have made it official and acquired head coach Doc Rivers from the Boston Celtics, pending approval from the league.

Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston has the news:

Sources confirmed on Sunday that the Clippers will sign Rivers to a three-year, $21 million contract. They will send a first-round pick as compensation for the Boston Celtics, who have agreed to release the coach from the three years, $21 million he has remaining on his deal with the club.

Contrary to previous reports, according to league and team sources, the Celtics have been complicit all along in assisting Rivers make the switch from Boston to Los Angeles.

 

Andrew Wiggins commands attention, doesn’t demand it

Eric Prisbell, USA TODAY Sports10:39 a.m. EDT June 22, 2013

When an 18-year-old soon-to-be freshman arrived on Kansas University’s campus this week, it signaled the start of what could be the most scintillating 10-month-long era in recent college basketball history.

And the most refreshing part of it all? Andrew Wiggins wants no part of the rock star status he has already been granted.

“I know college is a big step from high school, so I just want to be ready for it,” Wiggins told reporters.

During Wednesday’s much-publicized scrimmage, the 6-foot-8 Wiggins wowed the crowd of more than 1,300 at the Horejsi Center with glimpses of the talent that college coaches and recruiting analysts have been gushing about for more than a year.

There is little debate that Wiggins, who reclassified so he could enter college this fall, is the best high school basketball talent since Kevin Durant, who had a sterling freshman season in his only year of college basketball at Texas during the 2006-07 season.

But Wiggins has also been deemed the best high school talent since LeBron James, who of course skipped college altogether a decade ago. One national title-winning coach called Wiggins the “Secretariat” of basketball prospects because he possesses natural talent so far and away above his peers.

Kansas coach Bill Self was surprised at the level of attention Wiggins received just for settling into his apartment at Kansas this week. Self talked about concern over professional autograph seekers hounding Wiggins and referenced Danny Manning and Wilt Chamberlain as perhaps the only former players who received comparable hype before playing a minute at Kansas.

“We have recruited other good players before, but we have not had anybody with this type of attention at all,” Self said. “I kind of feel for him.”

From the recruiting riches at Kentucky to the return of several recognizable faces who decided to postpone their NBA careers, college basketball is poised for a distinguished season. But Wiggins could be the story of the year.

“But the whole thing is, he is just a kid,” Self said. “I told him the other night, he had not made a basket yet and the attention he has received is based on potential, it’s not based on anything he has done. But I think he should welcome the expectations.”

Aside from sheer athleticism, what else distinguishes Wiggins is that he is allergic to the spotlight. He does not seek adulation. And he said one of the players he admires is Durant because the Oklahoma City Thunder star does not embrace all the trappings of stardom.

Wiggins said he was not even aware of all the schools recruiting him for much of last fall. And for a long time, he didn’t understand that every person who came to watch his team play came to watch him put on a show.

“Players can have rock star status,” Self said, “but this could be a little bit ridiculous if he lets it gets to him.”

 It will be fascinating to watch how much Self can tap into Wiggins’ potential in one season before he is expected to be one of the top picks in the 2014 NBA draft. Wiggins will need to refine his jump shot in time.

And he no longer has to be bored against some competition, as he was at times at Huntington Prep (W.Va.), even when that competition included many future Division I college basketball players. His coaches had to nudge him or find various ways to motivate him because dominating, when he wanted to, came so easy for him.

Wiggins’ nutrition has come a long way in two years, since the days when he would crave five Eggo waffles each meal while staying with his host family – Scott and Lesley Thomas – in a 5,000-square-foot home in the tranquil neighborhood of Proctorville, Ohio. And he has started to come out of his shell after being extremely shy earlier in high school, according to other students at Huntington Prep.

Despite his unassuming manner, Wiggins does not lack confidence. He was motivated to outplay Julius Randle during a highly anticipated showdown at an event in North Augusta, S.C., last July because it “solidified” his reputation as the nation’s best high school player. And his high school coach Rob Fulford said Wiggins had been “very upset” that touted Jabari Parker was not at the same event because Wiggins was “tired of hearing about him,” Fulford said.

Now he is poised to shine on a much larger stage.

College basketball fans are rightly eagerly awaiting the college debut of Wiggins, who blends supreme talent with genuine humility. And some lucky Kansas fans this week were given a sneak preview of a reluctant rock star ready to invigorate the next college basketball season.

Eric Prisbell, a national college basketball reporter for USA TODAY Sports, is on Twitter @EricPrisbell.

Hi-res-170994422_crop_north

 Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

What a difference a game makes. Forty-eight little minutes…

think that’s how it goes.

For LeBron James—or, rather, for the latest historical Polaroid of LeBron James—those minutes meant everything.

A loss, and James is likely derided as a goat, a gifted player with “just” one championship in four career trips to the NBA Finals. A win, and James is possibly lauded as the G.O.A.T.

Greatest Of All Time, for those of you who were hitherto unfamiliar with the acronym.

To be sure, LeBron’s legacy hinges on much more than a single outcome over which he doesn’t have complete control. Rather, it counts on a collection of moments and performances, makes and misses, brilliant plays and critical mistakes, accumulated over time.

But in reality, LeBron’s legacy, like that of any other, is the product of perception.

In the creation of basketball’s Mount Rushmore, we want to know which kinds of rocks and minerals constitute the foundation of each section.

The player provides the raw material at which we chisel away to form a more familiar picture, which we can then, in theory, set against those of other all-time greats in pursuit of some impossible debate.

To date, James has provided plenty of slab for those who would attempt to carve his spitting image in stone. LeBron now stands alongside Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, JohnHavlicek, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Isiah Thomas, Scottie Pippen, ShaquilleO’NealKobe Bryant, Hakeem Olajuwon, George Mikan and (of course) Dwyane Wade as the most prominent players to lead at least one successful title defense.

 This (probably) should mean plenty, considering how difficult it is to win back-to-back championships. TheMiami Heat proved as much once again with their slog through the final two rounds of the 2013 postseason.

Only a handful of those Hall of Fame names can claim to have been the MVP of back-to-back finals. Michael was the first to do it. Hakeem won two of his own while MJ was away playing baseball. Shaq had his run, then Kobe had his, and now LeBron has a pair of his own.

Bill Russell would probably have more than any of them if not for the fact that the award wasn’t instituted until the 1968-69 season—his last as a pro.

That year, Jerry West became the first and still only player from the losing side to be named NBA Finals MVP.

Of course, Russell doesn’t need multiple such trophies to validate his own dominance. The award has borne Russell’s name since 2009 out of respect for the game’s most prolific champion. In all likelihood, Russell would have himself an impressive stash of finals MVP trophies had they existed during his heyday.

The discussion narrows even further when factoring in the sport’s next-most coveted award: the regular-season MVP. As a result of the Heat’s 95-88 victory over the San Antonio Spurs in Game 7, James can claim a second consecutive crown to go along with his second straight regular-season MVP.

The rest of that club’s membership? Bill, Michael…and that’s it.

Does all of this constitute argument enough for LeBron as the NBA’s next G.O.A.T.?

No.

He may possess the most impressive combination of physical blessings, mental fortitude and tireless work ethic that the game has ever seen. If his career were to come to a close today, LeBron might still be remembered as the most unique (and uniquely awe-inspiring) talent to ever set foot on the hardwood.

Greatness, though, is measured not by what you have, not by the raw materials at your disposal, but rather by what you do with what you have, by what you carve into and spin out of said materials.

Wilt Chamberlain was a prodigious talent, but his place in history has been marred by movement in his prime and a spotty track record in big games. Shaq might’ve been the most imposing physical force who’s ever held a basketball, but poor conditioning and a feud with Kobe appeared to derail O’Neal’s journey to the top of basketball history.

 LeBron, it would seem, is well on his way to maximizing the precious provisions bestowed upon him by the basketball gods. That’s what we ask—nay, DEMAND—of those who win life’s lottery: to use the prizewisely, to squeeze the most out of every penny.

It took LeBron the better part of a decade to complete the journey from teenage “Chosen One” to full-grown champion, but he’s here now, probably to stay.

Whether you like it or not.

It’s one thing to be “in the conversation” as, perhaps, the greatest of all time. It’s another entirely to really be a part of the discussion, to challenge the supremacy of those long established in the pantheon.

In that regard, LeBron still has quite a bit left to accomplish before he’s proven himself. He’d probably admit as much if you asked him to reflect on his place in history.

A second straight treble (championship, MVP and finals MVP in the same year) places James in some rather elite company. But to ensure that his inclusion in this amorphous, imaginary conversation isn’t as the one thing that’s not like the others, he’ll have to rack up more accolades, more milestones and more shiny objects before he’s finished his song.  

How many is a matter of an even more insufferable debate.

Does he need four more championships to “match” Michael? Or “must” his fingers be more bejeweled than those of His Airness for James to truly be the all-time King of the NBA?

And what about Russell? Do his 11 rings not matter as much because he played in an entirely different era? Should we “dock” him for competing in a smaller league against less gifted opponents within the constraints of a game that didn’t even feature a three-point line, among myriad other features that are new to modern basketball?

 

Is LeBron James the G.O.A.T.?

Yes!No, not yet, but he WILL be eventually.No, not yet, but he has a decent shot at it.No, and he NEVER will be!SUBMIT VOTE vote to see resultsIn truth, this debate will never end because it’s ultimately a matter of subjectivity, of individual perception. The same facts become the bases of so many disparate conclusions.

That’s what makes frivolous discussions such as these so fun and, in turn, so ubiquitous throughout time.

What makes LeBron’s inclusion such cause for controversy is that there’s so much of his story that’s yet to be written. Like the budding dynasty of which he’s an integral part, James will have his work cut out for him in the years to come as he looks to extend his run of excellence in the face of basketball’s countervailing forces.

He’ll have to battle younger, fresher, hungrier opponents. He’ll have to fend off waves of older players whose respective paths to the top he’s blocked.

He’ll have to tangle with his own demons—chiefly mental and physical fatigue—while keeping his teammates focused on the task at hand and motivated to complete it.

Indeed, what makes LeBron such a fascinating figure of any kind are the endless possibilities that lay before him, the potential still untapped.

He won’t turn 29 until December and has yet to suffer a major injury as a pro (knock on wood!). He’s currently surrounded by two superstars (Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh), another Hall of Famer (Ray Allen) and a perfectly plucked supporting cast. He plays for a coach in Erik Spoelstra who understands and appreciates James’ abilities better than anyone ever has.

And his future is in the hands of a living legend in Pat Riley, who knows a thing or two about playing the role of puppet master.

The future is bright for LeBron, perhaps even bright enough to eventually outshine the gaseous giants that Russell, Jordan and their ilk left behind.

 No, not those gaseous giants, LeBron!

There’s no way to know now whether James will reach that point of saturation unless someone’s holding out on a crystal ball, but the foundation for a fantastic, all-time resume is already in place.

What happens next, after those memorable 48 minutes in Game 7, may well come to define LeBron’s legacy and the extent to which we perceive him as the G.O.A.T.

Arrest warrant issued

 
Aaron Hernandez #81 of the New England Patriots looks on during a NFL game against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on December 2, 2012 in Miami Gardens, Florida.

warrant has been issued for the arrest of New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, WBZ News Radio in Boston reported early Friday morning. Citing an unnamed source, WBZ News Radio reported that the NFL star would becharged with obstruction of justice but that the charge could be upgraded.

Also citing an unnamed source, Bob Ward of FOX 25 subsequently reported that a warrant has been issued for Hernandez’s arrest in connection with the shooting death of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd. Ward also reported that Hernandez faces an obstruction of justice 

Citing unnamed police sources, ABC New also reported on Friday that a warrant had been issued on obstruction of justice charges based on the possible destruction of evidence by Hernandez. On Thursday, ABC News had reported that a security systemin Hernandez’s home had been intentionally damaged, citing an unnamed investigator. ABC News also reported that the emerging NFL star destroyed his cell phone before turning it over to police through his attorneys.

Massachusetts State Police are expected to make the arrest, but it remains unclear when and where Hernandez will be taken into custody, according to CBS Boston.

Sports Illustrated reported on Thursday that “Hernandez’s arrest is likely” according to an unnamed source with knowledge of the investigation. At that time, it was unclear what Hernandez would be charged with.

Also on Thursday, an unnamed law enforcement source told The Boston Herald that no arrest warrant had yet been issued for Hernandez.

 

Hernandez had been embroiled in a police investigation since the body of Floyd was discovered near his home in North Attleboro, Mass. on Monday. The family of Lloyd, a semi-pro football player, told The Associated Press that he had a connection to Hernandez but did not elaborate.

Citing a law enforcement official, FOX 25 in Boston reported on Wednesday that “Hernandez appears to be directly tied to the homicide.” According to the FOX 25 report, Lloyd and two other men were at a bar on the night of the homicide. The four men reportedly left together but only three returned to Hernandez’s home.

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