A cousin of former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez has changed her plea to guilty to a criminal contempt charge. Tanya Singleton, 38, had refused to testify against him before a grand jury.
Singleton changed her plea Tuesday in Fall River.
Prosecutors have said they would seek two years’ probation and home confinement for Singleton, from Bristol, Connecticut. She has been undergoing treatment for a breast cancer recurrence.
Singleton’s attorney, E. Peter Parker, said last week that additional incarceration “likely would hasten her death”, due to her latest bout of breast cancer which had been in remission but has returned and spread. Assistant District Attorney Patrick Bomberg requested that Singleton be allowed to leave her home only “for the purpose of medical treatment.”
Singleton has incurable cancer, as stated in a court filing by her attorney.
Last summer, Hernandez reportedly told his cousin “not to say anything and she agreed,” according to Bomberg’s sentencing memorandum. She also “didn’t care” about going to jail and spending a year away from her children, according to the filing.
Had Singleton testified before the grand jury, she would have “provided material information to the grand jury investigation of all participants” in the murder of Odin Lloyd. That includes Aaron Hernandez, Carlos Ortiz, and Ernest Wallace – all of whom have been indicted in the murder of Lloyd.
Singleton was hit with a second criminal contempt charge in Suffolk Superior Court for refusing to testify before another grand jury investigating her cousin’s involvement in the South End murders of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, two strangers prosecutors say Hernandez shot to death over a spilled drink in a nightclub in Boston.
Hernandez pleaded not guilty in 2013 for the killing of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd. He also pleaded not guilty to the 2012 deaths of Furtado and Abreu in Boston.