Shayanna Jenkins, the fiancée of former football star Aaron Hernandez
, was arraigned Tuesday on perjury charges in connection with a missing murder weapon.
Jenkins had previously admitted to a grand jury that she had removed a box that was believed to have contained the murder weapon allegedly used by Hernandez to kill a former associate, however she failed to tell the jury the exact location of the dumpster where she had discarded the box, Fox Sports reported
"She was asked what she did to the item that Mr. Hernandez instructed her to get rid of; she repeatedly told the grand jury that she couldn’t remember, she didn’t know, she’d thrown it in a dumpster, and she couldn’t tell anybody where it was," Assistant District Attorney Patrick Bomberg said at Jenkins’ arraignment.
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In defense of her client, Jenkins’s attorney Janice Bassil, accused the prosecution of overreach in the perjury charge, arguing that Jenkins could honestly not recall where she had dumped the box and that she had testified truthfully in the trial thus far.
"It seems to me that this is overreaching," Bassil said. "The indictment is overreaching. The statement by Mr. Bomberg is overreaching. And the request for bail is overreaching."
Bassil's sentiments were apparently shared by Superior Court Judge Thomas F. McGuire Jr., who denied the prosecution’s request for $5,000 bail and ordered that Jenkins remain free until her next scheduled court appearance on Nov. 6.
Hernandez was a star tight end of the New England Patriots when he was arrested on June 26 for the alleged execution-style murder of Odin Lloyd, a former associate, whose bullet-riddled body was found in an industrial area near Hernandez's home in North Attleborough, Massachusetts. He was cut by the team within hours of his arrest.
The 24-year-old Jenkins, who has an infant daughter with Hernandez, isn't the only person besides the former football star to face criminal charges in the June 17 killing of Lloyd. Others include Hernandez's friend Carlos Ortiz, on a charge of accessory to murder, and Hernandez's cousin Tanya Singleton on a charge of conspiracy to commit accessory after the fact, according to Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter's office.
As for how much Jenkins knew when she was allegedly asked by Hernandez to remove the box, her attorney argued that she was not aware of the boxes contents, saying that she had a "don't ask, don't tell," policy when it came to her fiancé's activities, ABC News reported
"Their relationship, in many ways, had what I refer to as a 'don't ask don't tell' aspect," Bassil said in court on Tuesday.
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"Frankly, with women who are involved with people who are artists, who are entertainers, who are sports figures. She could spend her life tracking him down and asking him where he was every single minute, or she could choose to say what you do on your own time, is your own time," Bassil said. "And that was the sum and substance of how she explained things to the district attorney."
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