The New England Patriots avoided being dragged into Aaron Hernandez's legal troubles by dropping the tight end, but will the former NFL player be able to keep his fiancé from the court's spotlight?
According to NBC Sports, a legal summary by case's prosecutor Bill McCauley stated on Thursday Hernandez's fiancé Shayanna Jenkins was allegedly cooperating with police during initial investigations. However, upon speaking with the former Patriot, Jenkins stopped talking to the authorities about the case.
Hernandez plead not guilty on five criminal charges on Wednesday including first degree murder of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd. If Jenkins does have any information about the alleged murder, there is a way for her to avoid the witness stand under Massachusetts law.
"A spouse shall not be compelled to testify in the trial of an indictment, complaint, or other criminal proceeding brought against the other spouse," the law states regarding the concept of the spousal privilege, NBC Sports reported. The law legally prevents the spouse from testifying even if they wanted to go on record.
Hernandez and Jenkins have reportedly been dating since 2007. Jenkins is also the mother of Hernandez's only child Avielle Janelle, who was born last November, NESN reported.
Hernandez told NESN that the birth of his little girl changed his life.
"I'm engaged now, and I have a baby. So, it's just gonna make me think of life a lot differently and doing things the right way," Hernandez told NESN. "Now, another one is looking up to me. I can't just be young and reckless Aaron no more. I'm gonna try to do the right things, become a good father and [her] be raised like I was raised."
Jenkins cried in the courtroom on Thursday when the Superior Court judge denied Hernandez bail. According to reports, Hernandez is tied to a Boston, Mass. double-murder case as well.