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Aaron Hernandez’s cousin pleads not guilty in Boston

Singleton ordered to remain in home

Suffolk prosecutors have charged Tanya Singleton with criminal contempt of court.

Boston Herald/Ted Fitzgerald/Pool)

Suffolk prosecutors have charged Tanya Singleton with criminal contempt of court.

Tanya Singleton — a cousin of Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriots player accused of three slayings — was ordered to remain in her Connecticut home after pleading not guilty Monday to contempt of court in Suffolk Superior Court.

Singleton must wear a GPS monitoring device, have no contact with potential witnesses except her family, and must check in weekly with probation officers, said Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley's office.

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Singleton, a tall, broad-shouldered woman who is battling breast cancer, pleaded not guilty to the charges as she stood in a Suffolk Superior courtroom Monday morning. Prosecutors said she has refused to tell them what she knows about her cousin’s alleged role in the killing of two Dorchester men on July 16, 2012.

Singleton, a mother of two, was indicted by the same Suffolk County grand jury that returned two first-degree murder indictments against Hernandez in the deaths of two men who had a chance encounter with him in a Theatre District nightclub in 2012.

Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to charges that he shot to death Daniel Abreu, 28, and Safiro Furtado, 29, a double killing that he allegedly committed while driving a 2006 Toyota 4Runner loaned to him by a Rhode Island car dealer.

Last June, officers tracked down the silver sport utility vehicle to Singleton’s home in Bristol, Conn., where it was parked in a garage covered with cobwebs, officials said.

First Assistant District Attorney Patrick Haggan said in court Monday that Singleton was ordered to appear before a grand jury investigating the killings.

“The defendant. . . has material and relevant information” about the car and conversations with her cousin in the days following the killings.” he said.

Haggan said Singleton expressed concern that her testimony could potentially lead to criminal charges against her, leading prosecutors to offer her immunity in return for her testimony.

After a Superior Court judge granted Singleton immunity, she appeared before the grand jury, but all she would provide to the panel was biographical information, Haggan said.

“She stated that she intended to refuse to answer any further questions before the grand jury,” Haggan said.

Superior Court Judge Christine Roache issued a civil order requiring her to testify. When she refused, Singleton was sentenced to 120 days in jail, which she has since served, Haggan said.

Now she faces criminal contempt charges, which could bring her two years in a house of correction if she is convicted.

Her attorney, E. Peter Parker, said that the restrictions placed on Singleton will allow her to see the oncologist at a Connecticut hospital who has been treating her for cancer since 2011. She can leave her house only for appointments with her lawyer and doctors.

Singleton is also facing conspiracy and contempt charges in Bristol County, where prosecutors have charged Hernandez with the shooting death of Odin L. Lloyd of Boston.

Singleton allegedly helped one of Hernandez’s purported accomplices flee Massachusetts and discussed helping another accomplice get away.

She is scheduled to go to trial in Fall River on Aug. 12. Singleton has pleaded not guilty.

Hernandez and two of his associates are charged with first-degree murder in Bristol County Superior Court in the June 2013 slaying of Lloyd in a North Attleborough industrial park a short distance from Hernandez’s home. He has pleaded not guilty in that case.

Maria Cramer can be reached at mcramer@globe.com.
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