Former NFL star Aaron Hernandez appeared in court Friday, entering a not guilty plea to the first-degree murder charge he faces in the shooting death of an associate.
Hernandez, 23, also pleaded not guilty to the five weapons charges related to the slaying of Odin Lloyd, a semi-pro football player and the 27-year-old boyfriend of the sister of Hernandez's fiancée.
Two days before his former teammates were set to appear on the national stage in their first game of the NFL season, Hernandez appeared before a judge wearing a white T-shirt and dark blazer. The hearing was over in a matter of minutes after a brief back-and-forth between prosecutors and the defense team, during which they determined that the issue of Hernandez being bonded out of jail would not be addressed.
"OK, so what that means, Mr. Hernandez, is that you are going to be held without bail, without prejudice," the judge said.
If convicted, Hernandez could face the maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Prosecutors allege that Hernandez drove Lloyd to a remote spot and "orchestrated his execution." Lloyd’s bullet-riddled body was found June 17 in an industrial park less than a mile from Hernandez' North Attleborough home.
Law enforcement officials also have video surveillance from Hernandez's home that shows the former New England Patriots star on camera appearing to be holding a gun.
The former Patriots star was arrested on June 26 and cut by the team hours later.
He was indicted on first-degree murder and weapon charges August 23. Defense attorney Michael Fee has said that he is pleased with the indictment because it gives his client "a path to trial," and that a jury will find Hernandez "innocent."
A bond hearing has been set for October 9.
Earlier this week, Hernandez’s attorneys cited the Massachusetts murder case in asking a Florida judge to delay a lawsuit that alleges the football star shot someone in the face at a Miami strip club in February.
The football star, holed up in a Bristol County cell since his arrest, has been passing his time reading “Tuesdays With Morrie” by sportswriter Mitch Albom, according to ABC News.