This seemed inevitable after the events of yesterday, a day in which Aaron Hernandez stopping to get gas was a really big deal. Now, a warrant has been issued for the tight end’s arrest, according to a report earlier this morning from CBS Boston.
At some point today he’ll be charged with obstruction of justice, a charge which may sound familiar because it’s the lesser crime Ray Lewis pleaded guilty to after he faced double murder charges, and he agreed to testify against the other defendants. The CBS report also notes that it’s possible Hernandez’s charge could be upgraded.
Why the obstruction of justice charge specifically for Hernandez? Well, mostly because that’s what happens when you destroy potential evidence in a murder investigation, as Hernandez did when he handed his cell phone to police in pieces after destroying his security system and having his house professionally cleaned. Either he really hates technology and he’s an obsessive neat freak, or he has something to hide. We’ll go with the second part, and so will the guys with the badges.
Toss in the fact that Hernandez’s neighbors heard gunshots early Monday morning, and there’s little in the good news column attached to his name. However, the slow trickle of information since Monday has been restricted to reports. Often mufti-sourced reports, but reports nonetheless, and authorities have confirmed little. Until they do — and until they announce exactly what Hernandez’s charges could be upgraded to — it’s important to remember that at this point, his most concrete action seems to be the destruction of evidence.
But nothing looks good here. Nothing at all, and although I hesitate to speculate even a little bit until some of the murkiness lifts, it feels safe to say that we’ll be getting a boiler plate statement from both the Patriots and the league soon. When that happens, it’s the first small step towards a punishment for Hernandez, even if he doesn’t ultimately face jail time.
Again, remember that Ben Roethlisberger wasn’t charged with committing any crime despite putting himself in a pretty shady situation, to say the least. That didn’t stop sheriff Roger Goodell from handing him a six-game suspension that was later reduced to four.
It’ll still be a while before Goodell acts, but he might not have to, as it’s difficult to envision Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick tolerating Hernandez’s behavior without some internal discipline.
UPDATE (10:22 a.m. ET): Oh nice, conflicting reports. This didn’t happen at all yesterday. Nope.
BREAKING: Globe law enforcement source: NO arrest warrant has been issued for Aaron Hernandez.
— Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery) June 21, 2013
A report said an arrest warrant was filed for Hernandez. As of now there is none. Clerk said it would only be thru Attleboro District Court
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 21, 2013
UPDATE (11:30 a.m. ET): I’ll stop short of describing this as sad, because that’s a word we shouldn’t associate with a man who, at the very least, is linked to the death of another human. But this little nugget from the Boston Herald shows how desperate Hernandez may be for help, and to restore some sense of normalcy. Any help, really.
Yesterday he left his home and drove to Gillette Stadium, which created the absurd media chase scene complete with a helicopter, and a locust horde swarming Hernandez the minute he stepped out of his vehicle (a white SUV…ughhhhh) to get gas. At the time the assumption was that he was either heading there to talk to someone — maybe a coach? — or he’s attempting to go about his usual business, and get a workout in.
Neither of those things happened because Hernandez was told to leave, with the Patriots wanting to avoid a media camp out in the stadium parking lot. Training camp should be a pretty interesting place if Hernandez is in attendance, which is highly questionable at this point.
From the Herald:
Hernandez, whose sprawling North Attleboro home is part of a homicide probe, was booted from Gillette Stadium yesterday when he showed up for a workout as cops continued to hunt for clues in the death of a Dorchester man, according to a source close to the team.
Hernandez, 23, was allowed in the building, but staff was waiting for him and instructed him to leave, the source told the Herald.
Patriots spokesman Stacey James would only say that he had no idea why Hernandez came to the Foxboro stadium yesterday.“No coaches are here,” said James, declining to comment further.
UPDATE (12:08 p.m. ET): Alright, now it’s officially official…maybe. Actually, I don’t really know, because no one does. Police entered Hernandez’s home with a warrant, according to NFL Network, and then left quickly. Let’s shrug together.
UPDATE (4:13 p.m. ET): To wrap things up here today (or at least attempt to), it seems the earlier confusion regarding an arrest warrant that may or may not be issued is a matter of when, and not if.
Police have prepared an arrest warrant for Hernandez, according to multiple sources. But as ProFootballTalk notes, the important distinction here lies between “prepared” and “issued”. The next step is obvious, and it feels like a formality: going from “prepared” to “issued”.