Watch CBSN Live

Aaron Hernandez Update: Cousin of ex-NFL star held in contempt of Mass. grand jury, report says

New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, left, stands with his attorney, Michael Fee, right, during a hearing in Attleboro District Court June 26, 2013, in Attleboro, Mass.
Aaron Hernandez, left, stands with his attorney, Michael Fee, right, during a hearing in Attleboro District Court on June 26, 2013, in Attleboro, Mass. AP Photo/The Sun Chronicle - Mike George

(CBS) BOSTON - A cousin of Aaron Hernandez is being held at a correctional facility in Massachusetts after she refused to testify in front of a grand jury convened in the former NFL star's murder case, the Hartford Courant reports.

PICTURES: NFL tight-end Aaron Hernandez

PICTURES: Notable athletes involved in murder-related cases

Tanya Cummings-Singleton, 37, has been in custody since Aug. 1, according to a spokesman for South Bay House of Correction in Suffolk County who spoke with the paper.

The paper reports Cummings-Singleton was subpoenaed to appear before the grand jury investigating Hernandez, but she refused and was then deemed in contempt.

Hernandez, who was released from the New England Patriots following his July 26 arrest in the murder of Boston semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd, is being held without bail on first-degree murder charges. He has pleaded not guilty.

READ: Timeline of Aaron Hernandez murder investigation

Lloyd, 27, was found dead in a field near Hernandez's home in North Attleborough, Mass. June 17. Prosecutors say Hernandez, 23, orchestrated the execution-style shooting because Lloyd talked to the wrong people at nightclub.

Two Hernandez associates, Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, also face charges in Lloyd's death. Wallace pleaded not guilty to a charge of being an accessory to murder after the fact. Ortiz has pleaded not guilty to a gun charge.

Cummings-Singleton has previously made the news in connection with the Hernandez murder investigation. ABC News reported on July 24 that detectives seized her cell phone during a court hearing for Hernandez.

The husband of Cummings-Singleton, Thaddeus Singleton III, 33, was being sought for questioning by police in the murder investigation. Before police could question him, he died on June 30, four days after Hernandez's arrest, in a high-speed car crash into a building in Farmington, Conn.

The vehicle involved in the accident was registered to Andres Valderrama, of Bristol, Conn. Valderamma is reportedly the father of Tanya Singleton and is also the uncle of Hernandez.

Following Hernandez's June 26 arrest, police in Bristol, Hernandez's hometown, had been searching Valderamma's home in connection with the murder of Lloyd as well as a 2012 double-homicide probe, which police have said has some new life.

On June 28, a silver SUV reportedly matching the description of the car Boston police had been looking for in connection with the double-homicide was towed from Hernandez's uncle's home at the request of police. Court records say that the SUV had been rented in the former NFL star's name.

According to the Hartford Courant, authorities became interested in talking to Cummings-Singleton after it was determined she had bought a bus ticket for Hernandez associate Ernest Wallace to travel to Florida the week after Lloyd's murder. Hernandez associate Carlos Ortiz reportedly told investigators he discussed Lloyd's murder with Cummings-Singleton after he and Wallace returned to Bristol on June 17.

A probable cause hearing for Hernandez is scheduled for Aug. 22, unless the grand jury indicts him before then.

Complete coverage of Aaron Hernandez on Crimesider

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue