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Hernandez's cousin ordered held in murder case against ex-NFL star

Aaron Hernandez, former player for the NFL's New England Patriots football team, stands during his arraignment in the Bristol County Superio
Aaron Hernandez, former player for the NFL's New England Patriots football team, stands during his arraignment in the Bristol County Superio

BOSTON (Reuters) - The cousin of Aaron Hernandez, the ex-NFL star who is accused of murdering semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd, was ordered held without bail on Monday on charges that she planned to help cover up the killing, prosecutors said.

Tanya Singleton, 37, pleaded not guilty during her arraignment in Fall River, Massachusetts, the Bristol County District Attorney's Office said in a news release.

Prosecutors had broadened their murder case against Hernandez on Friday by indicting Singleton along with Hernandez's fiancée Shayana Jenkins and his friend Carlos Ortiz, on charges related to Lloyd's murder.

Jenkins and Ortiz are due to be arraigned in October.

Hernandez was a star tight end of the New England Patriots when he was arrested on June 26 for the alleged execution-style murder of Lloyd, whose bullet-riddled body was found in an industrial area near Hernandez's home in North Attleborough, Massachusetts. He was cut by the team within hours of his arrest.

Prosecutors charge that Hernandez called Lloyd to his home on the night of June 17 and drove him, along with Ortiz and another friend, Ernest Wallace, to the industrial area where they say Hernandez shot Lloyd dead.

A spokesman for the Bristol County District Attorney's Office, Gregg Miliote, said last week that Ortiz now claims Hernandez was the only person who got out of the vehicle with Lloyd on the night of the murder, reversing previous testimony that Wallace had also left the vehicle.

Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge and related firearms charges.

Lawyers for Ortiz, who is charged with accessory after the fact, did not respond to requests for comment. Jenkins, charged with perjury, and Singleton, charged with conspiracy to commit accessory after the fact, were not immediately reachable, nor were their lawyers.

Lloyd, 27, had been dating Jenkins' sister. Prosecutors said Hernandez soured on him a few nights before the body was found and that the two had argued after Lloyd socialized at a nightclub with people Hernandez disliked.

Wallace has also been charged with accessory to murder after the fact, prosecutors said.

(Writing by Richard Valdmanis; editing by Matthew Lewis)

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