Aaron Hernandez Placed In Solitary, Denies Gang Membership

Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez has been placed in solitary confinement in the Bristol County (Massachusetts) Jail for his own protection

Hernandez is in the cell for 23 hours a day.

Hernandez has been charged with murder and firearms violations in connection with the death of his friend Odin Lloyd, a semi-pro football player whose body was found in an industrial park near the NFL star’s home in North Attleboro, Massachusetts on June 17. He is currently being held without bail and has pleaded not guilty to all charges. Hernandez is also reportedly under a separate criminal investigation for a 2012 drive-by double homicide in Boston last year.

Bristol County Sheriff Tom Hodgson explained the premise behind isolating Hernandez from the general prison population. “The reason for this move is simply to protect him. We wouldn’t want some inmate trying to get any notoriety by attempting to harm Aaron Hernandez,” the sheriff told TMZ. The safety status of the former NFL star will be reevaluated in about a week at which time he may or may not be moved to another unit.

Sheriff Hodgson also indicated that Aaron Hernandez has been a model inmate so far during his incarceration in the Darmouth, Mass., facility: “Having just met with him earlier again after his evaluation, and for a man who has gone from 7,000-square-feet to a 10×7 cell, he is doing very well and seems to be taking the situation great. He is very respectful and calm. Also to this point he has had no special requests.”

The sheriff further disclosed that Hernandez has denied being a member of any gang: “He talked to our gang 
investigators and said he didn’t have any involvement.”  Investors are examining the former football players body ink, however, for gang markings. “The review of his tattoos is a normal process, and we haven’t reached any definitive conclusions,” the sheriff told the Boston Herald.

[Image credit: Jeffrey Beall/Flickr]