Former NFL star Aaron Hernandez’s arraignment set for next week

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MASSACHUSETTS ( — Former NFL player Aaron Hernandez showed up in a Bristol County, Massachusetts, courtroom Friday for a brief hearing in which a judge announced he will be arraigned next week.

Hernandez will be arraigned on September 6, when he is expected to be informed of the crimes he is charged with and will have the opportunity to enter a formal plea with the court.

Hernandez’s attorneys have filed motions that accuse prosecutors of misconduct during their investigation of the case. The Attleboro District Court judge did not rule on these motions Friday, deferring instead to the superior court judge who will ultimately handle Hernandez’s case.

Hernandez, a former New England Patriots tight end, is charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of Odin Lloyd, 27. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge in addition to five weapons charges.

Prosecutors have accused Hernandez, 23, of being the one who orchestrated Lloyd’s shooting death. Authorities say Hernandez, along with two other men, picked Lloyd up from his Boston apartment on the morning of June 17. Lloyd’s body — pierced by five bullets — was found later that day in an industrial park less than a mile from Hernandez’s luxury home in North Attleborough, Massachusetts.

Lloyd, a semi-pro football player, was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancee.

Hernandez’s defense attorney, Michael Fee, has called his client innocent and said that “there has been an incredible rush to judgment in this case.”

District Attorney Sam Sutter, who is prosecuting Hernandez, said there is unprecedented pressure surrounding this case.

“Probably my career … will be defined more by this case than all of the other things we’ve done,” Sutter told CNN. “To that extent, there is added pressure. I can’t say in any way that we shirk from it. We welcome it.”

Hernandez has been held without bail since his arrest on June 26. No date has been set for his trial.

By Amanda Sloane

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