Jeffrey Cummings, nicknamed Meathead, was married to Aaron Hernandez's mother, Terri, from 2009 until 2010. Even prior to joining the Hernandez clan, Cummings had a colorful history, which included drug convictions. His presence and impact on Aaron Hernandez's life was a feature of the new Rolling Stone piece on the former New England Patriots star's murky past.
Here's what you need to know about "Meathead" and his role in the Aaron Hernandez saga.
1. Cummings Entered Hernandez's Life by Having an Affair With His Mother
According to the Rolling Stone feature, Terri Hernandez began seeing Jeffrey "Meathead" Cummings behind her husband, Dennis Hernandez's, back. At the time Cummings was married to Dennis Hernandez's niece, Tanya. As the story goes, the affair began just after Terri Hernandez was acquitted in a bookmaking bust that rocked Connecticut's underworld. While Terri Hernandez's role was minor, it began a pattern of lawlessness in the Hernandez household.
The family were attending a University of Connecticut game to watch Aaron Hernandez's older brother, DJ, play, when Terri Hernandez was confronted by Tanya Cummings over the affair. Terri Hernandez was physically attacked by Tanya, which a Rolling Stone source says "hurt Aaron bad and broke his heart."
2. When Dennis Hernandez Died, Jeffrey Moved In
Dennis Hernandez died in January 2006 after complications stemming from hernia surgery. He was just shy of his 50th birthday when he passed. Dennis Hernandez was the son of Puerto Rican immigrants, Bienvenido and Josephine Garcia Hernandez.
Terri Hernandez said "watching his sons play sports was Dennis' greatest joy."
Aaron Hernandez has two of his father's favorite quotes tattooed on his upper arm; they read:
If it is to be, it is up to me.
The difference between the impossible and the possible lies on a person’s determination.
His death is said to have greatly impacted the young Aaron Hernandez's life. Aaron Hernandez reflected on the death, saying:
It was more like a shock. Everyone was close to my father, but I was the closest, I was with him more than my friends. When that happened, who do I talk to, who do I hang with? It was tough.
The Boston Globe reported on August 15:
Cummings then married Hernandez’s mother on a trip to Las Vegas in 2009. There is no indication that Aaron, then in college, attended the ceremony. It occurred eight days after he helped Tim Tebow and Florida defeat Oklahoma, 24-14, for the national collegiate title.
3. During a Drunken Brawl, 'Meathead' Stabbed Terri Hernandez in the Face
In June 2010, police were called to their home in Bristol, Connecticut, when Cummings held Hernandez down during an argument, while Cummings was drunk, and cut a 3.5-inch laceration on her right cheek with an 8-inch knife blade, reported The Hartford Courant. Terri Hernandez escaped her husband and ran to a neighbor's house, where she called the cops.
Cummings was arrested by cops in the couple's backyard, where Aaron and DJ Hernandez were first taught to play football by their father.
During his two-year stint in prison, Terry Hernandez divorced Cummings. He was released in 2012 and the couple were reported to have gotten back together. The Rolling Stone feature reports that based on what friends say, at the time of writing, the couple are permanently split.
4. He Has a Long, Violent, Criminal Past
In addition to his gruesome attack on Terri Hernandez. A prior instance where Hernandez was arrested for domestic violence including an incident where he beat up an ex-girlfriend, a long with another woman and in the process, "he stepped on a 4-year-old and threw a 10-year-old child against a wall."
While he was out on parole for another crime, somehow Cummings avoided further jail-time despite repeatedly failing drug tests for cocaine and marijuana. The Daily Beast reported that in total he failed:
19 drugs tests between September 22, 2009, and June 7, 2010, positive 13 times for marijuana and six times for cocaine.
In addition to all of this, Cummings failed to complete a court-ordered anger-management course.
5. He is Now a Free Man
At 47 years old, Cummings is out of prison and on parole. It's unclear what relationship he has with Terri Hernandez. He has not commented on Aaron Hernandez's charge for the murder of Odin Lloyd on June 17.
His first wife, Tanya, remarried to Thaddeus Singleton III, a proposed witness in the Hernandez trial who was killed in an unsuspicious car accident in July 2013. The Rolling Stone feature also points out that Singleton was a friend of both Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, two other men who have been charged with involvement in the death of Odin Lloyd.