Aaron Hernandez pleads not guilty

FALL RIVER, Mass. -- Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez pleaded not guilty to a first-degree murder charge Friday following his indictment in the killing of a friend authorities say was shot five times in an industrial park.

Hernandez firmly answered "not guilty" to six charges, including murder and weapons and ammunition possession charges.

His attorneys agreed that Hernandez, 23, will continue to be held without bail, but reserved the right to request bail later. His next court hearing was set for Oct. 9.

A Massachusetts grand jury last month returned the indictment against Hernandez in the death of Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old semi-professional football player from Boston who was dating the sister of Hernandez's girlfriend. It also includes five gun counts.

Hernandez was arrested in June and pleaded not guilty to murder and weapons charges in district court. The indictment moves the case to superior court, where jury trials in murder cases are held.

Hernandez, who was cut from the Patriots within hours of his arrest, has been held without bail.

Prosecutors say the former NFL star orchestrated Lloyd's killing because he was upset at Lloyd for talking to some people with whom Hernandez had problems at a nightclub a few days earlier.

Defense attorneys say the evidence is circumstantial and that the state's case won't hold up.

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