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DA refutes claim by Aaron Hernandez lawyers

ATTLEBORO, Mass. -- Massachusetts prosecutors in the Aaron Hernandez murder case said Friday there's no truth to an allegation by lawyers for the former New England Patriot that investigators misled a potential witness.

The defense claimed in court papers filed last week that investigators visiting an inmate at a Connecticut prison in August told him they were there "to help Aaron out." Hernandez's attorneys said Everett Garcia told them that was the only reason he answered the officers' questions.

But in a response filed in Attleboro District Court on Friday, prosecutors said that the officers never told Garcia -- or implied -- they were there to help Hernandez and that Garcia was repeatedly informed the interview was voluntary.

Prosecutors say Garcia is from Hernandez's hometown of Bristol, Conn. He is serving a 7 1/2-year sentence for a 2009 robbery conviction, according to the filing.

Hernandez, 23, was indicted on a murder charge last week in the killing of Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old semi-professional football player from Boston. The ex-Patriot is to be arraigned in superior court next Friday. He previously pleaded not guilty to murder and weapons charges that preceded the indictment.

It is not clear what information Garcia gave police.

Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press

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