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Kraft: Feel 'duped' by Hernandez if guilty

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft addressed reporters Monday for the first time regarding Aaron Hernandez’s murder charge, saying, “If this stuff is true, then I’ve been duped and our whole organization has been duped.”

Kraft, who believed Hernandez was a “most likeable young man,” said the Patriots “made a mistake and are facing it head on,” which includes a process in which they will “renew efforts and look at procedures.”

“You can be sure we’ll be looking at our procedures and auditing how we do things,” Kraft told reporters from ESPNBoston.com, the Boston Globe and Boston Herald in a 40-minute session in his office.

The session was called on Kraft’s first business day back in the United States, as he had been in Europe when he first learned of Hernandez being charged with the murder of Odin Lloyd, and said Monday it was “important that our fan base hear directly from our organization” in a face-to-face setting.

“My heart goes out to the Lloyd family,” he said. “I feel bad that someone connected to our organization is connected to this.”

Kraft, who explained that he had to be limited in his remarks because of an ongoing criminal investigation as well as other potential civil proceedings, and was speaking against the advice of his general counsel, began by reading a statement to reporters.

“Following Aaron’s arrest, I read a number of different accounts of how things transpired in our organization. Let me be clear, we decided the week prior to Aaron’s arrest that if Aaron was arrested in connection with the Lloyd murder case that we would cut him immediately after,” he said.

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