Hernandez cousin avoids jail time on contempt charge

AP

Tanya Singleton won’t be going back to jail.

The cousin of former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez refused to testify before a grand jury investigating the June 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd.  She pleaded guilty to criminal contempt for failing to cooperate even though she had been granted immunity from potential prosecution.

Due to a cancer diagnosis, she’ll spend a year on house arrest and another year on probation.

“Miss Singleton’s willful conduct constitutes an assault on the rule of law and the effective administration of criminal justice,” Judge Susan Garsh said, via the Boston Globe. “Miss Singleton’s health is the only reason she is not being placed in jail.”

Prosecutors accused Singelton, who already spent 196 days behind bars while the Lloyd grand jury was in session, of having a “perverted her sense of loyalty” and an “utter disdain” for the legal process, via the Associated Press.  Prosecutor William McCauley said that Singleton put Hernandez above her own children, who were four and seven at the time she was initially jailed.

Judge Garsh denied a request from the mother of Odin Lloyd to make an impact statement during the hearing, concluding that Ursula Ward was not a direct victim of the crime.  Ward spoke to reporters after the hearing.

“What would you do or say to help the other family heal with the truth?” Ward said.  “My baby was my only son, my first born   My baby’s gone without me saying goodbye.”

That makes Lloyd’s family a direct victim of Singleton’s affront on the justice system.  Singleton knows something about what happened to Lloyd, and Singleton has refused to share information that could help Ward and the rest of Lloyd’s family obtain closure.  It also strongly suggests that the information would implicate, not exonerate, her cousin.

If Hernandez had any loyalty to Singleton, he would have insisted both privately and publicly that she tell the truth, without fear of the potential consequences.  Instead, he has allowed her to suffer behind bars and to spend what may be the final months of her life confined to her home.

While it’s still not proven that Hernandez killed anyone, what he has done to Singleton by not unequivocally and unconditionally giving her blanket permission to cooperate with the justice system is criminal in the moral sense.  Especially since there’s a chance her silence doesn’t come from a “perverted sense of loyalty” but from a very rational fear of retaliation.

27 responses to “Hernandez cousin avoids jail time on contempt charge

  1. Shouldn’t the fact that she refused to say ANYTHING against Hernandez kinda point to the fact that he was involved? If he wasn’t, she’d have said as much or that she didn’t know if he was involved.

  2. It wasn’t Hernandez but the legal system that put her in jail. Jailing witnesses is rare but the evidence against Hernandez in the Lloyd case is pretty weak. So prosecutors have tried to squeeze people to testify, threatening charges against various other people.

    Singleton’s lawyer would probably say she was imprisoned for refusing to give the testimony the prosecution wanted. Grand juries are intended to be checks on prosecutorial abuse but have turned into weapons used by prosecutors. Thus the saying about grand juries and ham sandwiches.

  3. I think the defense strategy is to let the prosecution heap so much gratuitous abuse and indignity on Hernandez, that by the time the trial rolls around, he’ll appear saintly.

  4. So having an “utter disdain” for the legal process is against the law, now? I have an utter disdain for the legal process as tons of people are released every year due to DNA evidence proving that they weren’t even there, while tons of others have died in jail, been raped in jail when they shouldn’t have been there in the first place. The fact that we have more people incarcerated in this country for non-violent crime THAN THE REST OF THE WORLD COMBINED.

    And for her to be locked up for 196 days already because she won’t, “tell them what they want to hear AND they want to lock her up for what may be the last days of her life. – yeah, she’s supposed to really LOVE the law. If they truly had a case they wouldn’t need her to make it.

  5. Imagine how scary tanya singleton would look with aaron hernandez girlfriend’s (shayanna jenkins) painted on angry eyebrows.

  6. “If Hernandez had any loyalty to Singleton, he would have insisted both privately and publicly that she tell the truth, without fear of the potential consequences. Instead, he has allowed her to suffer behind bars and to spend what may be the final months of her life confined to her home.”

    AH has been in SYOS (Save Your Own Skin) mode since he disabled the surveillance cameras on his house. That won’t change. Singleton’s silence was likely based on a combination of loyalty and fear.

    Singleton’s failing health and and the well being of her young children may have tugged on AH for a time, but if so, it is more likely to be measured in nanoseconds than in sleepless nights.

  7. I’m pretty sure she was in jail because she refused to testify to the grand jury when she was granted immunity. It’s similar to being held in contempt of court from what I understand.

    This certainly doesn’t make Hernandez look any better–making a relative suffer to try to help save his skin. If she lives long enough for the trial, she could be a really damaging witness if she still has immunity and refuses to testify.

    The case against him in the Lloyd matter may be weak but there’s enough smoke out there to certainly make a trial scare Hernandez.

  8. You call it loyalty to Hernandez. We call it deathly afraid of a serial killer who knows how to take care of so-called snitches.

  9. Welcome to America.

    Prisons and Health for profit….states sign on with these prison companies with a deal that the prisons must be kept at 90% occupancy no matter the crime rate…the state needs you in jail to meet it’s contract demands.

    196 days removed from your children + a year of house arrest + another year of probation for not testifying? Really? $79 a day to keep her in there for nothing. $15 grand + health costs.

    Disgusting.

  10. The prosecution can’t make its case so it uses intimidation and jails potential witnesses in order to force the issue. Our “justice” system is so broken that anyone who doesn’t have a healthy dose of utter disdain for it is asleep.

  11. raiderufan says:
    Aug 13, 2014 2:34 PM
    Welcome to America.

    Prisons and Health for profit….states sign on with these prison companies with a deal that the prisons must be kept at 90% occupancy no matter the crime rate…the state needs you in jail to meet it’s contract demands.

    196 days removed from your children + a year of house arrest + another year of probation for not testifying? Really? $79 a day to keep her in there for nothing. $15 grand + health costs.

    Disgusting.

    ————————————

    Hop off your soapbox, sunshine.

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