Aaron Hernandez is not being arrested in connection to a homicide investigation, a lawyer for the New England Patriots tight end clarified this week.
Speaking out against what he called “a relentless flood of rumors, misinformation and false reports in the media,” attorney Michael Fee said in an email distributed to reporters that there is no warrant for his arrest. The message came on the heels of widespread reports that Massachusetts police were close to arresting Hernandez in connection with the murder of Odin Lloyd, whose body was found near the tight end’s home this weekend.
Police have conducted several searches of Hernandez’s North Attleborough, Massachusetts, home this week as part of the homicide investigation. Though Hernandez has not been named as a suspect, reports said that police found he had destroyed expensive surveillance equipment and a cell phone in his home.
Police later searched a pond near Hernandez’s home, but said they found no evidence.
Fee praised investigators for their work, saying “we appreciate the professionalism and restraint shown by the Bristol County district attorney’s office to date with regard to its public statements while its investigation is underway.”
The investigation may cost Aaron Hernandez more than his freedom. Reports say he is at risk of losing up to $37 million in salary and bonuses if he is imprisoned.
USA Today writer Mike Garafolo explains:
“So of a deal that was worth $40 million over five years, Hernandez is guaranteed to earn $3.226 million of it (the first $2.5 million of his signing bonus, his $540,000 base salary from 2012, a $104,000 roster bonus last season and this year’s $82,000 workout bonus), despite the fact he’s already been paid the other $6.75 million in signing bonus that is subject to being recouped.
“Of his base salaries this season and next, Hernandez was to have $2.46 million fully guaranteed if he was on the roster this spring, though those guarantees are subject to being voided as well.”
Both prosecutors and the attorney for Aaron Hernandez have denied further comment on the case.