Shayanna Jenkins, fiancee of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez has plead not guilty to a single count of perjury. Jenkins is charged with lying to a Massachusetts grand jury about disposing of evidence in the murder case against him.
Prosecutors asked for a $5,000 cash bail to be issued and Shayanna Jenkins was eventually released on her own personal recognizance.
In August 2013 Jenkins lied to a grand jury about where she threw out a box Hernandez asked her to “get rid of” in the aftermath of Odin Lloyd’s killing.
When first questioned about the box Jenkins refused to answer, citing her Fifth Amendment rights. Prosecutors eventually offered Jenkins immunity for her testimony.
Bristol County Assistant District Attorney Patrick Bomberg said Jenkins collected the box from the basement of the home she shared with Hernandez, put it in a trash bag, covered it with baby clothes, and drove it away. Shayanna Jenkins had repeatedly told prosecutors that she “forgot” what dumpster she put the box in.
Prosecutors are still not sure what items were located inside the box, however, Carlos Ortiz, a man charged with accessory in the case, says Hernandez kept firearms in his basement following the killing.
Defense attorney Janice Bassil says prosecutors were overreaching with the perjury charge since Jenkins answered the questions asked of her.
Bassil says the relationship between Jenkins and Hernandez was one of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
If found guilty of perjury in the murder trial Shayanna Jenkins could spend up to 20 years in prison.
Others charged in the case include Ernest Wallace and Aaron Hernandez’s cousin Tanya Singleton who recently plead not guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit accessory after the fact and criminal contempt.
An investigation into the death of Odin Lloyd is still ongoing for all suspects.
Do you think Shayanna Jenkins engaged in perjury based on the facts that are currently available?