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Sports

July 12, 2013

Patriots' Dennard accused of DUI

FOXBOROUGH — Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard was arrested and accused of drunk driving Thursday in Nebraska while on probation for assaulting a police officer, the second New England player to get in serious legal trouble this summer.

Dennard’s early-morning arrest in Lincoln, Neb., where he was a college star for the Cornhuskers, came 15 days after Aaron Hernandez was charged with murder and three days after Patriots owner Robert Kraft said the club will “be looking at our procedures and auditing how we do things” with regard to character reviews.

“The New England Patriots are extremely disappointed to learn of Alfonzo Dennard’s arrest. We take this matter very seriously and are working to get more information on the incident,” the team said in a statement.

Dennard’s arrest is his second in 15 months. He hasn’t served a 30-day jail sentence for the assault outside a Lincoln bar on Apr. 21, 2012. That is scheduled to begin next March. He also was sentenced to two years of probation.

Hernandez, a star tight end, was arrested on June 26 and charged with murder in the killing of Boston semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty. The Patriots cut Hernandez after he was arrested and before the charges were announced.

Dennard and Hernandez both were highly-touted college prospects whose draft stock dropped because of character concerns.

Seven days after being charged with assault, Dennard was drafted in the seventh round last year out of Nebraska by the Patriots. They drafted Hernandez in the fourth round in 2010 after he violated the substance abuse policy at Florida.

“If this stuff is true, then I’ve been duped and our whole organization has been duped,” Kraft said Monday of the case involving Hernandez.

The team did not respond to a request Thursday for Kraft’s reaction to Dennard’s arrest.

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