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Aaron Hernandez cousin pleads not guilty to conspiracy charge

George Rizer / Pool via AP, file

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)

The dark saga surrounding former New England Patriots’ tight end Aaron Hernandez continued Monday as one of his female cousins pleaded not guilty to a conspiracy charge.

Prosecutors say Tanya Singleton, 37, helped one of Hernandez’s friends flee to Florida in the days following the June 17 killing of Odin Lloyd.

Singleton is one of five people including Hernandez, his fiancée and two of his friends, who've had charges brought against them in relation to Lloyd’s death.

Despite her not-guilty plea, Singleton agreed to be held without bail for the conspiracy charge and a second contempt charge for refusing to testify before the grand jury hearing evidence in Hernandez’s case. She can request a bail hearing at a later date.

In August, a Massachusetts grand jury indicted Hernandez on first-degree murder charges of Lloyd, a semi-professional football player from Boston who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s girlfriend.

Lloyd's body was found in North Attleborough, about a mile from Hernandez’s home, with five bullet holes on June 17.

Like the other four people facing charges, Hernandez has entered a not-guilty plea. He has another hearing scheduled for Oct. 9. The former football star could serve a life sentence if he is convicted.

Singleton allegedly helped a friend named Ernest Wallace flee to Florida by buying him a bus ticket to Florida after her car broke down in Georgia, a prosecutor said in court last week.

Wallace pleaded not guilty to being an accessory after the fact in Lloyd’s death. Prosecutors claim Wallace was with Hernandez the night Lloyd was killed.

Shayanna Jenkins, Hernandez’s fiancée and mother of his child meawhile is facing charges of perjury for testimony she gave in mid-August, according to the indictment. She is scheduled to be in court Oct. 15.

Singleton will be back in court Oct. 24 for a pretrial conference on both charges.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report