Tuesday August 12th, 2014

A cousin of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez pleaded guilty Tuesday to a criminal contempt charge, reports the Boston Globe.

A judge sentenced 38-year-old Tanya Singleton to two years probation and one year of home confinement after she refused to testify against Hernandez before a grand jury despite being given immunity.

Bristol County Superior Court Judge E. Susan Garsh said that Singleton's actions warranted prison time, but because of her medical condition she imposed a lighter sentence.

Singleton is undergoing treatment for a recurrence of breast cancer.

"Miss Singleton’s willful conduct constitutes an assault on the rule of law and the effective administration of criminal justice," Garsh said. 

Hernandez, 24, is accused of the June 2013 killing of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd, whose body was found about a mile from Hernandez’s home in North Attleborough, Mass. He has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and several weapons charges. His trial in that case is scheduled to begin Oct. 6

He also has pleaded not guilty in the 2012 killings of two men in Boston.

More from the AP:

"This type of response does not stem from familial love, but instead uses the common understanding of family as a cynical justification for lawlessness," prosecutors wrote, adding that Hernandez had repeatedly provided her money.

- Scooby Axson

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