NEW YORK (AFP) – Famously taciturn New England coach Bill Belichick said Wednesday he was shocked and saddened by the case that has former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez facing a murder charge.
Speaking publicly about the case for the first time as the NFL team gathered for training camp, Belichick offered his sympathy to the family of the victim and said the Patriots would continue to review their methods of evaluating players.
“It’s really a sad day on so many levels. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the victim, and I extend my sympathy with everyone who has been impacted,” Belichick said at a press conference at the Patriots’ Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.
“A young man lost his life, and his family has suffered a tragic loss, and there’s no way to understate that.”
Hernandez was arrested on June 26 and charged with murder in the death of Odin Lloyd on June 17.
Lloyd’s bloodied body was found at an industrial park less than a mile from Hernandez’s luxury home.
Hernandez pleaded not guilty, but less than two hours after he was arrested and led from his house in handcuffs, the Patriots cut ties with him.
Hernandez appeared briefly in court on Wednesday in Attleboro, Massachusetts, where Judge Daniel O’Shea agreed to prosecutors’ request to reschedule a probable cause hearing for August 22.
Prosecutors said the 30-day delay in the hearing — where a judge is asked to decide if a defendant should be held for trial — will allow a grand jury time to hear evidence and issue an indictment.
It also meant prosecutors didn’t have to reveal evidence at the hearing.