Report: Cousin of Aaron Hernandez jailed after refusing to testify before grand jury

Friday August 9th, 2013

Aaron Hernandez has been the center of an investigation following the murder of a friend. (Michael DeHoog/Sports/Getty Images) A grand jury is considering first-degree murder charges for Aaron Hernandez. (Michael DeHoog/Sports/Getty Images)

The Hartford Courant reports a cousin of Aaron Hernandez has been held at a Massachusetts correctional facility for a week after she refused to testify in front of a grand jury investigating the former Patriot's murder case.

Tanya Cummings-Singleton, 37, has been in custody since Aug. 1 after being deemed in contempt of the grand jury considering indictments in the June 17 killing of Odin Lloyd, a source familiar with the investigation told The Courant.

A probable cause hearing on first-degree murder charges for Hernandez is scheduled for Aug. 22, unless the grand jury indicts him first.

ROSENBERG: Hernandez's neighbors still in shock

The Courant explains Cummings-Singleton's ties to Hernandez's case and his alleged co-conspirators:

Investigators have demonstrated they have an interest in Cummings-Singleton, who lives at the Bristol home owned by Hernandez's uncle. Police have searched the home multiple times since Hernandez and two Bristol associates, Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, were charged in Lloyd's death.

Authorities say Cummings-Singleton bought a bus ticket for Wallace, who has been charged with accessory after the fact to murder, to travel to Florida the week after Lloyd's bullet-ridden body was found in an industrial park near Hernandez's home in North Attleborough, Mass. Ortiz told investigators he discussed Lloyd's murder with Cummings-Singleton after he and Wallace returned to Bristol on June 17, court records indicate.

Both Wallace and Ortiz stayed at the 114 Lake Ave. home with Singleton and her family, where police during an early search found a car, rented in Hernandez's name, that was sought in connection with a July 2012 double homicide in Boston. Investigators wanted to interview Cummings-Singleton's husband, Thaddeus "T.L." Singleton, before he was killed in a late June car crash in Farmington.

Cummings-Singleton had a close relationship with Hernandez, and several of his former University of Florida teammates said she often traveled to his games with members of his immediate family. Massachusetts authorities seized her phone and four credit cards when she was in court last month for one of his appearances. Court documents reveal that in the weeks since her cousin's arrest she has spent time at his North Attleborough home.
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