Aaron Hernandez associate pleads guilty to federal perjury, gun conspiracy charges



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BOSTON — An associate of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez has pleaded guilty to federal charges of lying to a grand jury, witness tampering, obstruction of justice and a gun conspiracy charge.

Oscar Hernandez's plea Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Boston came as jury selection continued in Bristol County Superior Court, where Aaron Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to murder in the June 2013 killing of semiprofessional football player Odin Lloyd near the football star's North Attleborough home. The two Hernandezes are not related.

Bristol County Superior Court Judge Susan Garsh, who is overseeing the murder case, said she expects a jury to be seated Monday and opening statements to be Tuesday.

Investigators have said the murder weapon was a .45-caliber Glock. It has never been found, and Oscar Hernandez was not charged in connection with that weapon.

The indictment to which Oscar Hernandez pleaded guilty says a grand jury in Massachusetts began investigating the transporting of guns from Florida to Massachusetts after investigators traced three guns recovered during the investigation of Lloyd's killing. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives determined that all three guns were purchased in Florida in April 2013.

Aaron Hernandez is not mentioned in the indictment by name, but police have said that five days after Lloyd's killing they seized an FEG 7.62 mm rifle from a gym bag on the back seat of a Toyota sedan parked inside his garage. Among the three weapons mentioned in Oscar Hernandez's indictment is a FEG 7.62 mm rifle that was found inside a gray Toyota Camry parked inside the garage of a residence in North Attleborough.

Oscar Hernandez is scheduled to be sentenced April 27.

He is listed as a possible prosecution witness in the Lloyd case, though his lawyer told news outlets that he is not a witness and has not agreed to any deals with prosecutors in the murder case.

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