By Richard Valdmanis
BOSTON (Reuters) – Former National Football League star Aaron Hernandez was charged on Thursday with assaulting and threatening another inmate while in a Massachusetts prison awaiting his murder trial.
Hernandez, who played tight end for the New England Patriots, was jailed in June after being accused of gunning down another man in an industrial park near his house.
A grand jury in Bristol County indicted Hernandez on Thursday on charges of assault and battery and threats to do bodily harm stemming from an incident at the Bristol County House of Corrections in February, according to the district attorney’s office.
Hernandez is accused of repeatedly punching fellow inmate Andrew Booker after the two got into an argument in a hallway of the prison, Booker’s attorney said in March. Hernandez’s attorney was not immediately available to comment.
Hernandez had been a rising star in the NFL before police arrested him at his South Attleboro mansion in June for the shooting death of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd. Hernandez has denied the charges.
The New England Patriots released him from the team hours after his arrest. Hernandez is also being investigated for links to a 2012 double-murder in Boston, the Boston Globe has reported citing law enforcement sources.
(Editing by Cynthia Osterman)