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Crime & Courts

Aaron Hernandez pleads not guilty to first-degree murder charge

Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriot, pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, his top charge, Friday at his arraignment in Fall River Superior Court, reported.

The 23-year-old's attorneys waived the reading of his indictment. Both the defense and prosecution agreed that he be held without bail until a future bail hearing. The arraignment comes after a grand jury returned an indictment against the ex-New England Patriot in the death of Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old Boston resident last month.

Hernandez was arrested in June after Lloyd's body was found in an industrial area near the 23-year-old's North Attleborough home.

Investigators allege Hernandez, who was friends with Lloyd, was angry because Lloyd was speaking to people whom Hernandez did not like at a night club days before his murder. They further allege Hernandez and two others picked Lloyd up in Boston on the night of his death and drove him to North Attleborough.

A man facing weapons charges in connection to the death, Carlos Ortiz, has told investigators an alleged accomplice, Ernest Wallace, told him that Hernandez fired the fatal shots. Wallace is charged with accessory to murder after the fact. Ortiz claims he remained in the car at the time of the shooting while the other three men exited.

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