Aaron Hernandez has been in jail for almost four month on murder charges. Now, the ex-football player’s fiancée has been indicted in the case.
Shayanna Jenkins, 24, has pleaded not guilty to perjury charges. She has been accused of lying to a grand jury about her actions after Odin Lloyd was killed in June.
According to Bristol County prosecutor Patrick Bomberg, Jenkins wasn’t truthful about details regarding destroying evidence that could link Hernandez to Lloyd’s murder. He says Hernandez’s fiancée put a plastic box in a plastic bag, covering it with baby clothes, and proceeded to throw the evidence in a dumpster, all at the behest of the former New England Patriots tight end.
“She told the grand jury she dumped [the box] in a dumpster, but she couldn’t tell anybody where it was,’’ Bomberg said.
The prosecutor says Jenkins initially told the grand jury that she didn’t remember where she got rid of the box, claiming she left the house on June 18 to get baby formula, but couldn’t recall where she went. Surveillance video footage shows her at an ATM in Plainville, Connecticut, on the day in question.
Janice Bassil, Jenkins’s lawyer, says her client never changed her story. Her defense remains that she doesn’t remember what dumpster she used to dispose of the box.
Hernandez and his girlfriend have a one-year-old daughter together. Despite sharing a child and a home, Bassil says Jenkins tried to stay out of Hernandez’s affairs, and doesn’t know any further details of his involvement in Lloyd’s death.
“Their relationship in many ways had elements of what I would refer to as ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’” Bassil told the court. “It goes along the lines, frankly, with women who ware involved with people who are artists, who are entertainers, who are sports figures.”
The prosecution, though, isn’t buying Jenkins’s claim of ignorance. Hernandez had a cleaning crew work on his house after Lloyd’s death, and Bomberg says Jenkins tried to get them to sign a confidentiality agreement.
The charges have come down on Jenkins after two meetings with the grand jury in August. She could face up to 20 years in prison if she’s convicted of perjury, though she did receive immunity for destroying what could be critical evidence in the case.
Hernandez’s associate Carlos Ortiz, as well as the former football player's cousin, Tanya Singleton, were also indicted on Friday. Ortiz was indicted on accessory to murder, and Singleton faces charges of conspiracy to commit accessory after the fact and criminal contempt.