Aaron Hernandez in court Wednesday.
Prosecutors have asked for more time to present evidence to a grand jury in the case against former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez.
The ex-NFL star made his first appearance in a Massachusetts court on Wednesday since he pleaded not guilty to murder in the death of Odin Lloyd, whose body was found last month in an industrial park about a mile from Hernandez’s home in North Attleborough, Mass.
Prosecutors allege that Hernandez, who appeared in court briefly handcuffed and wearing a white shirt and black blazer on Wednesday, “orchestrated” Lloyd’s death.
Prosecutors said in the course of the proceeding Wednesday that the grand jury is still reviewing evidence, which now includes boxes of ammunition found at Hernandez’s apartment consistent with shell casings found at the murder scene.
Hernandez’s defense attorney objected, and argued that the probable cause hearing should go forward on Wednesday.
The judge sided with the prosecution and scheduled the probable cause hearing for Aug. 22. Hernandez will continue to be held without bail.
Searches last month by police in Connecticut found ammunition and documents tied to Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, who are co-defendants in the case with Hernandez. The items were found after officers executed warrants on Hernandez’s uncle’s home, a rental car and an apartment believed by police to have been used by Ortiz and Wallace, according to the Associated Press.
Also on Wednesday, Patriots coach Bill Belichick read a statement regarding his former player’s case, calling Hernandez “an individual who happened to be a New England Patriot.”
Belichick said he was “personally disappointed and hurt in a situation like this,” but said his team was looking forward.
“It’s time for the New England Patriots to move on,” Belichick said.
Hernandez played three seasons for the Patriots after a collegiate career at the University of Florida. His five-year, $40 million contract extension signed in 2012 was voided when he was cut by the team hours after his arrest.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
First published July 24 2013, 12:52 PM