Hernandez cousin asks for leniency, cites cancer

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Hernandez cousin asks for leniency, cites cancer
Tanya Singleton, cousin of former New England Patriots NFL football player Aaron Hernandez, enters Suffolk Superior Court Monday, June 2, 2014 in Boston, where she pleaded not guilty to a criminal contempt of court charge. Prosecutors said she refused to testify before a grand jury investigating Hernandez's alleged role in a double slaying in Boston, even though she'd been granted immunity. Prosecutors said the SUV used in the shooting was stored at her home in Bristol, Conn. A judge ordered her confined to her home, with GPS tracking to medical appointments. Singleton is being treated for breast cancer. (AP Photo/Boston Herald, Ted Fitzgerald, Pool)
Tanya Singleton, cousin of former New England Patriots NFL football player Aaron Hernandez, approaches the bench in Suffolk Superior Court Monday, June 2, 2014 in Boston, where she pleaded not guilty to a criminal contempt of court charge. Prosecutors said she refused to testify before a grand jury investigating Hernandez's alleged role in a double slaying in Boston, even though she'd been granted immunity. Prosecutors said the SUV used in the shooting was stored at her home in Bristol, Conn. A judge ordered her confined to her home, with GPS tracking to medical appointments. Singletonis being treated for breast cancer. (AP Photo/Boston Herald, Ted Fitzgerald, Pool)
FILE - In this Oct. 24, 2013 file photo, Tanya Singleton, right, cousin of former New England Patriots football player Aaron Hernandez, speaks with defense attorney Peter Parker during a bail hearing at Superior Court in Fall River, Mass. Singleton was released on bail Thursday, Jan. 30, 2013, more than five months after her indictment on two charges in connection with the murder case against Hernandez. (AP Photo/Boston Herald, Dominick Reuter, Pool, File)
Tanya Singleton, cousin of former New England Patriots football player Aaron Hernandez, appears for a bail hearing at Superior Court Thursday, Oct. 24, 2103, in Fall River, Mass. On Thursday, a judge set $15,000 cash bail for Singleton. She's been held without bail after pleading not guilty to criminal contempt and conspiracy to commit accessory after the fact. Prosecutors said she helped Hernandez's friend Ernest Wallace travel to Florida after the June killing of Odin Lloyd, and refused to testify before the grand jury in the case despite immunity. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in Lloyd's death. (AP Photo/Boston Herald, Dominick Reuter, Pool)
Tanya Singleton, seated, cousin of former New England Patriots football player Aaron Hernandez, listens as defense attorney Peter Parker speaks during a bail hearing at Superior Court Thursday, Oct. 24, 2103, in Fall River, Mass. On Thursday, a judge set $15,000 cash bail for Singleton. She's been held without bail after pleading not guilty to criminal contempt and conspiracy to commit accessory after the fact. Prosecutors said she helped Hernandez's friend Ernest Wallace travel to Florida after the June killing of Odin Lloyd, and refused to testify before the grand jury in the case despite immunity. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in Lloyd's death. (AP Photo/Boston Herald, Dominick Reuter, Pool)
Tanya Singleton, a cousin of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez, is escorted into Superior Court in Fall River, Mass. Friday, Aug. 23, 2013 where she pleaded not guilty on a contempt charge for allegedly refusing to testify before the grand jury that indicted Hernandez in the murder of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd. (AP Photo/Boston Globe,George Rizer, Pool)
Tanya Singleton, a cousin of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez, is escorted into Superior Court in Fall River, Mass. Friday, Aug. 23, 2013 where she pleaded not guilty on a contempt charge for allegedly refusing to testify before the grand jury that indicted Hernandez in the murder of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd. (AP Photo/Boston Globe,George Rizer, Pool)
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FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) - A cousin of ex-New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez wants a Massachusetts judge to spare her from additional incarceration, saying she's dying from breast cancer that had been in remission but has returned and spread.

Tanya Singleton, of Bristol, Connecticut, initially pleaded not guilty to criminal contempt for refusing to testify before a grand jury that indicted Hernandez in the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd of Boston. But she plans to change her plea to guilty Tuesday in Fall River Superior Court.

E. Peter Parker, Singleton's lawyer, said in a sentencing memorandum this week that more incarceration "likely would hasten her death." He noted the 38-year-old Singleton spent 196 days in jail before posting bail earlier this year. He has proposed a sentence of one year, with credit for time already served and the rest suspended for a year with home confinement.

Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to the shooting death of Lloyd, a semi-professional football player who was dating the sister of his fiancee. The former NFL player has also pleaded not guilty, in a separate case, to the 2012 killings of two men in Boston.

In his memo, Parker said Singleton's cancer had been in remission before she was jailed. He blamed her "rapidly deteriorating condition" on her incarceration, saying it caused a break in her treatment.

He said the cancer "will lead to her death" and that her best chance of maximizing her remaining time "with some semblance of quality of life" would be increasingly aggressive treatment by her Connecticut physician.

"That cannot happen if she is incarcerated again," Parker said.

Singleton refused to testify despite being given immunity by prosecutors. That put her "at an emotionally supercharged crossroads where the strong and unbreakable bonds of family clashed with society's need for evidence," Parker said in his filing. "She chose family."

Singleton was also charged after refusing to testify before the grand jury that indicted Hernandez in the Boston killings.

Judge Susan Garsh on Wednesday said prosecutors must demonstrate the availability of adequate medical treatment if they seek prison time. A spokesman for the district attorney has previously declined to comment on a sentencing recommendation.

Singleton also faces a conspiracy charge for allegedly helping Hernandez associate Ernest Wallace flee to Georgia after the killing. She has pleaded not guilty.

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