Aaron Hernandez’s fiancee Shayanna Jenkins was the victim of abusive tactics by prosecutors pressuring her to provide information to help their case, her lawyer said this week.
Jenkins, 24, was indicted on a single charge of perjury last week. If she is convicted, she could face anywhere from 20 years to life in prison.
“The government actions in this case are abusive and overreaching,’’ attorney Janice Bassil told The Boston Globe. “I don’t believe they have sufficient evidence.’’
“I believe they are just simply trying to add pressure,’’ she added. “They are trying to pressure her, but perhaps they are also trying to pressure him [Hernandez] through her.’’
Gregg M. Miliote, a spokesman for Bristol District Attorney C. Samuel Sutte, said: “The individuals who voted on this indictment are citizens of the community. Her comments prior to any recitation of the facts in open court are an affront to the good work these citizens did in examining the evidence in the case.’’
A cousin of Hernandez pleaded not guilty Monday to a conspiracy charge for her alleged actions following the killing of Hernandez’s friend Odin Lloyd.
Tanya Singleton was held without bail after entering her plea in Fall River Superior Court to a charge of conspiracy to commit accessory after the fact to murder. Prosecutors say that in the days after the June 17 killing of Lloyd, she helped one of Hernandez’s other friends flee to Florida.
Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and weapons charges in Lloyd’s shooting death. Ernest Wallace, the friend who fled to Florida, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of being an accessory after the fact in Lloyd’s death.
Singleton, 37, already was being held on a contempt charge. She was indicted on that charge after allegedly refusing to testify before the grand jury hearing evidence in Hernandez’s case and has pleaded not guilty.
Her lawyer, E. Peter Parker, would not comment outside court.
Singleton smiled several times during her brief arraignment but did not address the court other than to say ”not guilty.”
In court last week, a prosecutor alleged that Singleton drove Wallace to Georgia from her home in Bristol, Conn., and when her car broke down there, she bought him a bus ticket to Florida.
Singleton agreed to be held without bail on both charges but has the right to ask for a bail hearing at a later date. She is due back in court Oct. 24 for a pretrial conference on both charges.
Lloyd was found shot to death June 17 in an industrial park in North Attleborough, Mass., near Hernandez’s home. Lloyd, 27, a semi-professional football player from Boston, was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancee.
Prosecutors said Wallace and Carlos Ortiz were with Hernandez and Lloyd on the night Lloyd was killed. Ortiz was indicted last week on a charge of accessory to murder after the fact, and is due for a court appearance Oct. 18. His lawyer has said he will plead not guilty.