NFL linemen Mike and Maurkice Pouncey are standing by their former college teammate and accused murderer Aaron Hernandez. To a surprising degree.
As the former Patriots tight end sits in jail, the Pouncey brothers both rocked hats stitched with “Free Hernandez” at a birthday party in Miami.
The Pounceys have been linked to Hernandez’s off-field activities as police continue to probe Hernandez’s past for clues relating to murder charges he faces.
In 2007, when Hernandez was just 17, the Gainesville (Fla.) Police Department mentioned the Pounceys in a report after investigating a double shooting.
Police tried to speak with Aaron Hernandez about the shooting but he invoked his right to have an attorney present. No charges were ever filed.
Hernandez, ex-Jaguars safety Reggie Nelson, Mike and Maurkice Pouncey had all been in a Gainesville nightclub on the night of the shooting.
Mike Pouncey is a center for the Steelers while Maurkice plays center for the Dolphins. They were close friends with Hernandez while in Florida.
Prosecutors believe Hernandez and friends Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz plotted and executed the slaying of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd.
A large amount of evidence, including text messages to Lloyd on the night of his death, is being used to build a case against the three defendants.
The former NFL star, 23, has pleaded not guilty to all charges, and his next court date is Wednesday, July 24 for a probable cause hearing.