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Sports

July 25, 2013

Hernandez's probable cause hearing delayed

ATTLEBORO — A judge yesterday gave prosecutors more time to present evidence to a grand jury in their murder case against former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez.

Hernandez was in court for what was supposed to be a probable cause hearing, but prosecutors said the grand jury is still considering the evidence against him.

Judge Daniel O’Shea considered defense objections to a delay but decided to reschedule the hearing for Aug. 22. Hernandez will continue to be held without bail until then.

Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to murder in the death of Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old Boston semi-professional football player whose body was found June 17 in an industrial park near Hernandez’s home. He had been shot five times.

Bristol County Assistant District Attorney William McCauley said additional evidence includes boxes of ammunition found at a condominium Hernandez leased and a magazine for a .45-caliber Glock in a Hummer registered to him. Authorities say Lloyd was killed with a .45-caliber gun, though it apparently has not been recovered. McCauley said the ammunition box had Hernandez’s fingerprints on it.

Hernandez attorney James Sultan objected to the delay, saying his client has already been jailed for four weeks and that the district attorney could have waited to bring charges, but chose to go ahead last month.

“He made it sound like a slam dunk case,” Sultan said.

Outside court, another of Hernandez’s attorneys, Charles Rankin, said he was “extremely disappointed” that prosecutors weren’t prepared to go forward and that he’s confident Hernandez will be exonerated.

Hernandez’s girlfriend, Shayanna Jenkins, was in court for the hearing — Hernandez mouthed “I love you” in her direction before he was led out — but she did not respond to reporters’ questions as she left the courthouse.

Members of Lloyd’s family also attended the hearing but did not comment.

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