BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) -- Since Aaron Hernandez was arrested this summer, three family associates have died. While the recent deaths may well be a coincidence, one thing is certain. When you look at the circle of friends and relatives of Aaron Hernandez, there is more than enough trouble to go around.
Tabitha Perry is dead at 27, found unresponsive last week in a Southington, Conn. home. She is the third family associate of Aaron Hernandez to have died since the star football player's arrest on a murder charge this past summer.
"It's only natural given the high profile twists and turns we've heard with the Aaron Hernandez case that people would give pause and take another look at the recent deaths over the summer after his arrest," said Tom Shamshak, a former police chief.
It was just four days after Hernandez's arrest that the first death occurred. Thaddeus Singleton III, known as T.L., crashed his car in Farmington, Conn.
His passenger, none other than Tabitha Perry, was injured. He was married to Aaron Hernandez's cousin, Tanya Singleton. That cousin is now accused of helping one of Hernandez's alleged accomplices. Police had wanted to talk to Thaddeus Singleton, but his death cut short any chance of his cooperating.
The next death came in August. An uncle of Hernandez's, Robert Valentine, was killed in an early morning moped crash. Police have said he was not wearing a helmet. That crash, like the one that killed Singleton, is still under investigation. Police would only release a single sheet of information about each of the crashes.
"A cynical individual might come to the conclusion that these people were victims of foul play. Were they somehow involved in Aaron Hernandez's escapades? That's on one side of the equation," Shamshak said. "Another person might look at it to say, well much like Aaron Hernandez has engaged in risky behavior involved in guns and violence, his relatives who recently succumbed to death from motor vehicle accidents, they too could have had a proclivity and a tendency to engage in very risky behavior."
Police investigating the death of Perry say there is nothing suspicious about her death.. The most recent of Hernandez's family associates. The cause of death is still under investigation.
But in a phone interview, her mother bristled at the notion that Hernandez and his legal trouble had some connection to her daughter's death.
"Tabitha never met Aaron," her mother tells FOX 25. "People have been linking it since the accident in July. She was frustrated by all the crap that happened after (the crash). She was hurt really bad and now she's gone and nobody's respecting it."
So instead of being known as the third family associate of Hernandez's to die, Perry's mother wants people to remember her a different way.
"My daughter would do anything for anybody and a lot of times that got her into bad situations but she just cared about people."
It's not just these three that have seen misfortune. A host of other friends and associates of the former football star have been charged criminally, and in some cases jailed, over this case. As for Aaron Hernandez, he'll be back in court Monday for a pre-trial hearing.
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