The judge in the murder trial of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez on Tuesday granted immunity to the accused football player’s fiancee.
Shayanna Jenkins, 25, is mother to Hernandez’s daughter, and has been a fixture at the trial, where she has sat with his family, the Boston Globe reports. Hernandez faces murder and weapons charges in the 2013 slaying of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd. Prosecutors believe that Jenkins may have aided the defendant by disposing of the gun that killed Lloyd.
It’s not clear what the sealed immunity agreement entails, but legal experts believe it might be a move to compel Jenkins to testify at Hernandez’s trial, or else face jail.
“She now has one of two choices, testify or go to jail for contempt,” Martin G. Weinberg, a prominent Boston defense lawyer, told the Globe.
Under immunity, Jenkins can neither be prosecuted for anything she describes should she be called to testify, nor can her testimony be used against her.
Authorities believe that Jenkins, working at Hernandez’s behest, removed the murder weapon from their North Attleborough home the day after Lloyd was killed, according to the Hartford Courant.
Jenkins initially pleaded the fifth when she was called before a grand jury that convened around the case in 2013. Prosecutors later accused the young mother of lying to the grand jury 29 times, for which she was charged with perjury. She has pleaded not guilty to that charge.
The Hernandez trial resumed Wednesday following a two-day delay due to weather. Watch livesteam coverage above, courtesy of WildAboutTrial.com.
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