Yes, football is back. But the biggest NFL trial since the double-murder case against Ray Lewis is looming.
Before former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez can stand trial for the murder of Odin Lloyd, Hernandez must be indicted. Before he can be indicted, a grand jury must conclude that probable cause exists to believe he committed the crime.
That process entails a parade of witnesses who will help provide a tapestry of evidence that will make an indictment a no-brainer. As long as those witnesses are willing to testify.
One of them — Hernadnez’s coustin, Tanya Cummings-Singelton — has been jailed for contempt of court. According to the Hartford Courant, Cummings-Singleton refused to testify before the grand jury. She has been held behind bars since August 1.
Prosecutors believe Cummings-Singleton purchased a bus ticket for Ernest Wallace, who is charged with being an accessory after the fact. Carloz Ortiz reportedly told police that he discussed the murder of Lloyd with Cummings-Singleton.
Her husband, Thaddeus Singleton, died in a car accident in late June. She previously was married to Hernandez’s stepfather, Jeff Cummings.
Apart from her indefinite incarceration for refusing to cooperate with the grand jury, Cummings-Singleton becomes an even bigger target for potential prosecution under theories like obstruction of justice. The phone, for example, that Wallace allegedly used to communicate with Hernandez and Lloyd was registered to Cummings-Singleton. It has not been located by authorities.