Tanya Singleton: Who is Aaron Hernandez’s cousin and how did she die?

Aaron Hernandez's cousin Tanya Singleton in court
Tanya Singleton appears in court in 2013. Pic credit: WPRI/YouTube

Tanya Singleton was the cousin of the former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, who is the subject of Netflix’s new documentary, Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez, released on January 15.

Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez investigates the life of Hernandez, convicted for the murder of Odin Lloyd in April 2015. Hernandez eventually committed suicide in his prison cell in April 2017 during his case’s appeal.

Singleton’s involvement in the case is also covered by the new Netflix documentary.

Who was Tanya Singleton?

Singleton was Hernandez’s older cousin. She became involved in the case after accusations arose that she might have helped Hernandez and his accomplices, Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz. Singleton allegedly tried to help Wallace and Ortiz escape after Lloyd’s murder.

Prosecutors in the case claimed that she allegedly drove Wallace from Bristol, Connecticut, to Georgia and bought him a bus ticket to travel to Florida. They charged her with conspiracy to commit accessory after the fact.

Prosecutors dropped all charges against Singleton, who was 39 at the time of the trial, citing her battle with cancer at the time.

Singleton and Hernandez were very close. She served as a mother figure to Hernandez, whose father died when he was in high school.

Jennifer Mercado, another one of Hernandez’s cousins, testified under oath that his mother Terri had an affair with Singleton’s husband, Jeff Cummings. Singleton divorced her husband as a result. Cummings then married Hernandez’s Terri.

Hernandez disapproved of the relationship, so he moved out of the house he shared with his mother and moved in with Singleton. Hernandez then became a father-figure to Singleton’s son with her former husband.

It is believed that the complicated circumstances of his life, and the brain injuries he suffered as a football player, contributed to his violent and criminal behavior.

How did Singleton die?

Tanya Singleton was battling stage 4 breast cancer at the time Hernandez went on trial for the murder.

She remained steadfastly loyal to Hernandez, refusing to testify against him, despite prosecutors identifying her as one of the few people who knew the details of what happened concerning Lloyd’s murder.

She also refused to testify in a case concerning the murder of two other men prosecutors suspected that Hernandez killed in 2012 before the death of Lloyd.

According to the third episode of Netflix’s Killer Inside: The Mind Of Aaron Hernandez, Singleton died in her home in October 2015, soon after prosecutors dropped the case against her.

Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez is streaming on Netflix.

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