News Column

Hernandez Investigators Planned to Talk to Man Killed in Crash

Jul 3 2013 6:07AM

Investigators in the Aaron Hernandez murder case were prepared to interview a Bristol man who was killed early Sunday when he crashed a car registered to his father-in-law, the former New England Patriot tight end's uncle.

Multiple law enforcement sources said Massachusetts investigators were interested in speaking with Thaddeus Singleton III, 33, because he was associated with Hernandez. Singleton, who records show has served time in state prisons on various drug-related convictions dating to the mid-1990s, was killed when the car he was driving shot 100 feet through the air and hit the Farmington Country Club 6 feet off the ground.

The Nissan Maxima was registered to Andres Valderrama, Hernandez's uncle, law enforcement sources said. A female passenger identified as Tabitha Perry, 27, was injured in the crash, Farmington police said.

Hernandez is facing first-degree murder charges in the June 17 shooting death of Odin Lloyd, 27, of Dorchester, Mass. The Patriots released their star tight end shortly after his arrest, and a judge ordered him held without bail after prosecutors outlined evidence they used to accuse him of an "orchestrated execution."

Police said that in the course of their investigation into the crash they learned that Singleton was married to Tanya Valderrama of 114 Lake Ave. in Bristol. Tanya Valderrama is Hernandez's cousin.

In the past week, Bristol and Massachusetts investigators have searched the Lake Avenue address, including once on Friday in connection with a probe into a 2012 double homicide in Boston, said Bristol Lt. Kevin Morrell.

Hernandez is being investigated in connection with the 2012 slayings. Investigators believe Lloyd may have had information about Hernandez's possible role in the double slaying.

Massachusetts authorities asked police in Bristol, the town where Hernandez was raised and his family still resides, for help in that investigation, said Morrell.

Hernandez is one of three suspects, all from Bristol, arrested in connection with the Lloyd homicide. Carlos Ortiz and Ernest Wallace also have been charged, and prosecutors say they believe they have in custody all three men who were in the car with Lloyd the night he was killed. Lloyd was dating Shaneah Jenkins, the sister of Hernandez's fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins.

Law enforcement sources said Ortiz often stayed with Singleton at the Lake Avenue address.

On Tuesday, an East Hartford man who in a civil lawsuit has charged that Hernandez shot him in the eye outside a Florida nightclub in February, was served an interstate subpoena to appear before a Massachusetts grand jury investigating the Hernandez case.

Sources said investigators are interested in "similarities" between the Alexander Bradley shooting and the shooting death of Lloyd.

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(c)2013 The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.)

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Source: Copyright The Hartford Courant 2013


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