Singleton’s sister testifies in Hernandez murder trial

In death, Hernandez’s murder conviction likely to be tossed » (AP Photo/Boston Herald, Dominick Reuter, Pool)

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — Testimony in the Aaron Hernandez murder trial continued on Tuesday with a scheduled half-day.

Hernandez’s cousin, Jennifer Mercado, took the stand and said that Hernandez wanted to give her money in order to help her sister, Tanya Singleton. Singleton has pleaded guilty to a criminal contempt charge.

Mercado, who was granted immunity for her testimony on Tuesday, answered “I don’t remember” to many of the questions she was asked by prosecutors — even after she was shown transcripts of her grand jury testimony.

She blamed the fact that she was unable to remember answers to questions on medications she was taking.

When asked if Hernandez had spoken to her about money, she answered “yes.”

“He said he would help me out if he could,” she said.

When asked if Hernandez indicated who she would receive the money from, Mercado said “Shayanna.”

“He said he would make sure there was money to put on her canteen” Mercado said, referring to her sister Tanya.

While prosecutors believe Hernandez was paying Singleton for her silence, the defense painted a very different picture, portraying the family as a happy one.

Mercado was asked if Hernandez helped out the family financially after becoming a professional football player.

“He helped out once in a while, like when we were backed up on the bills and my sister needed help,” she answered. “He would help, yes.”

Mercado also testified about Carlos Ortiz and Ernest Wallace’s behavior in the hours before Lloyd’s death.

“They were just real jittery, sweating,” she said.

Mercado told the jury that Ortiz and Wallace frequently smoked with Aaron Hernandez, sometimes at her home.

Also on Tuesday — the court learned that prosecutors have filed an appeal asking the Supreme Judicial Court to allow Robert Paradis to testify.

Paradis said Hernandez was bragging about having at .45 while in Los Angeles in April of 2013 — the same caliber gun used to kill Odin Lloyd.

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