Multiple outlets, including ABC News, reported on Friday that a warrant had been prepared for the arrest of New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, who would be charged with obstruction of justice.
Hernandez, accompanied by his attorney, Michael Fee, returned to his North Attleboro, Mass. home at approximately 4:40 p.m. ET. No arrests have been made in the case, but Bob Ward of FOX 25 in Boston reports that a "paper warrant" for Hernandez has been issued, but not yet executed by the Massachusetts State police. A paper warrant means that the warrant has been written, but not entered into the system, which would allow any police officer to arrest Hernandez
Hernandez is a central figure in the state police's investigation into the murder of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd, a Dorchester, Mass. native and semi-pro football player for the Boston Bandits who police believe was killed by a gunshot to the head sometime between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. on Monday, June 17. Lloyd, whose body was found by a jogger at 5:30 p.m. ET on Monday in an industrial park less than a mile from Hernandez's home, reportedly dated the sister of Hernandez's fiancee. According to the Boston Globe, Lloyd was with Hernandez in the hours leading up to his death.
Police have obtained search warrants for Hernandez's home, including one based on evidence that Hernandez intentionally destroyed his home's surveillance system, as well as the cellphone his attorney turned over to investigators. Hernandez also allegedly hired a "team of house cleaners" on Monday.
In other Hernandez news, CytoSport, the makers of "Muscle Milk", announced that they have terminated their endorsement contract with Hernandez, who was wearing a "Muscle Milk" hat when he made a surprise visit to Gillette Stadium on Thursday.
"In light of the investigation involving Aaron Hernandez, CytoSport is terminating its endorsement contract with Mr. Hernandez, effective immediately," the company announced on Friday.
"Muscle Milk" got some unwanted publicity on Thursday when Hernandez continued to wear their gear as media converged on him while he refueled his white Audi SUV before driving to his lawyer's office at the Prudential Center on Boylston Street in Boston. Hernandez's vehicle never left the parking garage at the Prudential Center on Thursday night.
According to the Boston Globe, Hernandez spent the night at the Sheraton Hotel connected to the Prudential Center.
Hernandez's contract status was also a topic of discussion on Friday.
Last August, the Patriots signed Hernandez to a five-year, $37.5 million extension that included $16 million in guaranteed money. Most of the guaranteed money came in the form of a $12.5 million signing bonus, of which $9.25 million was paid out between Aug. 27, 2012 and March 31, 2013. If Hernandez is suspended, the Patriots could seek to recoup the prorated portions of that signing bonus, a dollar amount that could reach $10 million. Hernandez was due $2.46 million in guaranteed base salary over the next two seasons and, as is the case with nearly everything Hernandez-related, there are conflicting reports over whether or not an arrest or suspension would void those guarantees.
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