In a jailhouse letter published by TMZ and ESPN, former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez claims he's not guilty of murder.
He's in jail, charged with allegedly killing Odin Lloyd.
Here's what Hernandez wrote to a fan:
“Your letter meant a lot and was very true! I know everything happens for a reason and I know ‘God’ has a plan for me and something good will come out of this. The world just makes things out of false accusations and it will all die down especially when they say NOT GUILTY and all the people who turned on me will feel like crap. I’ve always been a great person an[d] known for having an amazing heart! I am a strong person and nothing will break me!
“A C.O. will never nor can they say now for one day have I been down or not with a smile on my face. I know there is a reason I’m going thru this and I will figure it out through my relationship with the Lord. I fell off especially after making all that money but when its all said and done ‘God’ put me in the situation for a reason. I’m humbled by this ALREADY and this will change me forever. At least I’ll know my true supporters. Thanks for being one of them!”
Hernandez autographed the leter with his name and his old Patriots jersey No. 81.
“Can't wait to sign this again when I'm playing again an (sic) prove all the haters and down talkers wrong!” Hernandez wrote.
He has pleaded not guilty, but prosecutors are building what appears to be a strong case based on circumstantial evidence and possibly eyewitness testimony. Lloyd's body was discovered roughly a mile from Hernandez's upscale Massachusetts home.
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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.