Aaron Hernandez’s brother now facing federal charges over alleged threatening messages

Jul 28, 2023, 7:31 PM

FILE - This March 23, 2023, booking photo provided by the Cheshire Police Department shows Dennis Hernandez, former UConn football player and older brother of late New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez. Dennis is now facing federal threatening and stalking charges. Authorities say he threatened to shoot up the University of Connecticut and kill three people in another state. He was ordered held after his appearance Friday, July 28, 2023, in a Hartford federal court. (Cheshire Police Department via AP, File)

(Cheshire Police Department via AP, File)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The troubled brother of the late NFL player Aaron Hernandez was charged Friday, now in federal court, with new counts of threatening and stalking after authorities say he threatened to shoot up the University of Connecticut and kill three people in another state.

Dennis Hernandez was ordered to be held in custody after his appearance in the court in Hartford. A message seeking comment was sent Friday night to his attorney.

The new charges came days after it emerged that Hernandez was arrested July 18 on state charges after police said he threatened to kill officers and then urged them to shoot him at his home in Bristol. Officers had gone there after two people close to him raised concerns about his mental health, police said.

The arrest report said the 37-year-old had sent threatening messages, including ones about carrying out a shooting at UConn. He was a Huskies quarterback and wide receiver who went by DJ Hernandez in the mid-2000s.

Court filings in the new federal case include the same messages. Some say the writer is struggling financially, is frustrated at seeing other people get hired as coaches, feels owed by UConn, is planning on “taking down everything” and doesn’t care “who gets caught in the crossfire.”

“I’ve died for years now and now its others peoples turn,” read a July 7 message sent to a woman in Hernandez’s life. It followed a message the day before that warned: “UConn’s gonna see how accurate I am too with my targets.”

Hernandez told another person that he drove July 7 to UConn’s campus in Storrs and to Brown University, in Providence, Rhode Island, where he coached quarterbacks during the 2010-11 season, according to court papers.

He had been due in state court that day on another case stemming from allegations that he threw a bag containing a brick and a note over a fence and onto ESPN’s property in Bristol.

UConn police confirmed that a vehicle linked to Hernandez was on campus that day. Brown has said that its investigation didn’t indicate Hernandez had been on campus in recent weeks.

Hernandez is due back in state court Tuesday and in federal court Aug. 11.

His younger brother, former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, killed himself in 2017 while serving a murder sentence.

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Aaron Hernandez’s brother now facing federal charges over alleged threatening messages