You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Cousin of Aaron Hernandez should not be jailed, her lawyer says, arguing she is dying from cancer

Tanya Singleton, cousin of former Patriots player Aaron Hernandez, faces a contempt charge in Hernandez’s murder case.

Dominick Reuter/Boston Herald/Associated Press

Tanya Singleton, cousin of former Patriots player Aaron Hernandez, faces a contempt charge in Hernandez’s murder case.

A cousin of Aaron Hernandez should be spared more jail time for a contempt violation, her lawyer said, arguing that incarceration “likely would hasten her death” as she battles cancer.

In papers filed in Bristol Superior Court in Fall River on Tuesday, the lawyer for Tanya Singleton, 38, requested a one-year sentence, with credit for 196 days that she served before being freed on bail last winter. The attorney, E. Peter Parker, asked that the remainder of the sentence be suspended for a year while she remains on home confinement in Bristol, Conn.

Continue reading below

Singleton has pleaded not guilty to the contempt charge, but plans to change her plea during a hearing Tuesday.

Parker wrote that Singleton suffers from cancer that “will lead to her death,” and said that she was in remission before she was jailed but the disease has since spread.

He added that her “best chance to maximize the time she has left . . . would be to maintain a complex and increasingly aggressive treatment regimen implemented” by her doctor. “That cannot happen if she is incarcerated again.”

Singleton’s contempt charge stems from her refusal to testify before a Bristol grand jury hearing evidence in a June 2013 slaying that Hernandez, the former New England Patriots star, allegedly committed with two accomplices.

On Tuesday, Parker defended Singleton’s decision not to testify, writing that she loves Hernandez like a son.

“Her decision not to testify came from her heart,” Parker wrote.

A spokesman for the Bristol district attorney’s office declined to comment.

In a ruling Wednesday, Judge E. Susan Garsh said prosecutors must show that Singleton can receive adequate medical care in jail if they plan to seek incarceration.

Singleton also faces a conspiracy charge for alleged actions including helping one of Hernandez’s co-defendants flee to Florida, as well as a contempt count in Suffolk County for refusing to testify before a grand jury there.

That panel was hearing evidence in a 2012 double murder that Hernandez is also charged with.

Travis Andersen can be reached at
Loading comments...
Want each day's news headlines delivered fresh to your
inbox every morning? Just connect with us
in one of the following ways:
Please enter a valid email will never post anything without asking.
Privacy Policy
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of