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(NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass.) — New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was marched out of his Massachusetts mansion in handcuffs and arrested on Wednesday by police, 11 days after the body of his friend was found dead in an industrial park near his home.

Hernandez was placed in a police car by detectives and driven away in front of dozens of reporters and other police officers around 8:45 a.m.

The charges against him are unclear but, as ABC News has reported, he had not been ruled out as a suspect in the killing of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd, 27, who was found shot dead June 17.

The Bristol County District Attorney’s office said Hernandez will be booked at the North Attleboro police station and then brought to district court for his arraignment.  The charges against Hernandez will not be made public until his arraignment on Wednesday, district attorney C. Samuel Sutter said in a statement.

Both the NFL and Massachusetts state police told ABC News they had no comment on Hernandez’s arrest.  The district attorney has not responded to messages left by ABC News Wednesday morning.

The New England Patriots, meanwhile, announced on Wednesday that they have released Hernandez following his arrest.

In a statement, the team said: “A young man was murdered last week and we extend our sympathies to the family and friends who mourn his loss.  Words cannot express the disappointment we feel knowing that one of our players was arrested as a result of this investigation.  We realize that law enforcement investigations into this matter are ongoing. We support their efforts and respect the process.   At this time, we believe this transaction is simply the right thing to do.”

Hernandez’s home and property had previously been searched by cops in connection with the slaying of Lloyd, who Hernandez had been partying with prior to the killing.

Hernandez was the subject of an arrest warrant drawn up on Friday for obstruction of justice charges based on the possible destruction of evidence in connection with Lloyd’s death, ABC News reported over the weekend.

But as of late Friday, the warrant had not yet been issued by the court, according to a spokesman for the Attleboro District Court, which covers Hernandez’s town.

Police sources told ABC News that a major investigative tool — the security system at Hernandez’s home, which included video — had been intentionally destroyed.  His cellphone was handed over to police “in pieces,” and appeared to have been smashed.

Police also want to know why a team of house cleaners were hired to scrub Hernandez’s mansion, the sources said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


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