Aaron Hernandez has been formally indicted by a grand jury for the murder of Odin Lloyd. The Boston Globe first reported the news via Twitter on Thursday afternoon.
Wesley Lowery of The Boston Globe noted that Ernest Wallace, an associate of Hernandez, has also been indicted as an accessory to first-degree murder.
According to Michele McPhee of ABC News, the former New England Patriots tight end was scheduled to appear in court for a probable cause hearing on Thursday afternoon, but was officially arraigned and charged with the murder of Lloyd instead.
The probable cause court appearance has been postponed due to the indictment, per Lowery.
Had the grand jury not indicted Hernandez on Thursday, the defense would have likely made a strong argument for their client’s release.
This indictment is the latest milestone in a case that began with Lloyd's murder on June 17 in an industrial park near Hernandez’s home in North Attleborough, Mass.
Hernandez was arrested on June 26 in connection with the case and has been held without bail since. The former NFL star is being actively investigated as the potential trigger-man, with Wallace and Carlos Ortiz believed to be accomplices.
Ortiz has been cooperating with prosecutors and has not been indicted, although he is still being held in custody.
Should he be convicted, Hernandez may be facing life in prison without the possibility of parole. Wallace could receive a maximum of seven years in prison for his role, according to John R. Ellement and Lowery.
Hernandez is also under investigation for a double homicide in Boston, but no news has been made public in connection with this indictment.