Tanya Singleton, a cousin of former New England Patriots football player Aaron Hernandez, sits in court in Suffolk Superior Court, Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014, in Boston. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

About Tanya Singleton
Known AsTanya Valderrama
DeathOctober 24, 2015 Bristol, Connecticut
SpouseThaddeus Singleton III (Dead),
Jeff Cummings (Divorced)
ChildrenTatiana Singleton, Jano Cummings Singleton, Renée Madison Singleton, Edward Lawrence Jackson Singleton
SiblingsJennifer Mercado
ParentsAndres Valderrama, Ruth Valderrama
HometownBristol, Connecticut

Netflix’s Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez has unraveled some twisted facts about deceased NFL pro Aaron Hernandez, who murdered another footballer, Odin Lloyd. Several names involved in Hernandez’s dark history have become the focus for Netflix viewers. Featuring prominently among them is Tanya Singleton, Hernandez’s cousin. She was a key personality in Hernandez’s trial, initially, until her name faded out of consciousness and it was all about Hernandez until his unexplained suicide in 2017. As harrowing as Hernandez’s life story is, Singleton has struck a chord with Netflix viewers for her fierce family loyalty through sickness and sacrifice. Our Tanya Singleton wiki highlights the role she played in Aaron Hernandez’s life.

Tanya Singleton Was Aaron Hernandez’s Cousin and Mother Figure

If you followed Aaron Hernandez’s case or watched any of his documentaries, particularly the latest Netflix series, you’d know his family life was as warped as it gets. His parents had a complicated relationship, made worse by their criminal history and financial problems.

His father, Dennis Hernandez, was reportedly an abusive alcoholic to Aaron and his brother, DJ, until he died. Dennis’ older sister, Ruth Valderrama, and her husband, Andre Valderrama, had two daughters, Jennifer Mercado and Tanya Singleton (then Tanya Cummings), who were older than Aaron. The family were all residents of Bristol, Connecticut.

Aaron was estranged from his mother, Terri Hernandez, and lived largely with Tanya and her then-husband, Jeff Cummings. Though cousins, Tanya had a bigger role in raising Aaron and he looked up to her as a mother. It was while he lived with Tanya that Aaron fell into a life of crime and drugs.

Tanya and Jeff had two children, Tatiana Singleton and Jano Cummings Singleton. Aaron had a very close bond with Tanya’s kids, and Jano even saw him as a father figure.

Singleton’s Husband Had an Affair with Aaron’s Mother

After Dennis’ death, the family found out that Terri Hernandez and Jeff Cummings were having an affair. After the affair came out, Tanya left Singleton and Aaron moved in with her and her kids.

Jeff and Terri moved in together and continued their relationship. This allegedly enraged Aaron.

However, like her previous husband, Jeff was also abusive to Terri. In 2010, he was arrested for stabbing Terri. Terri survived and they eventually divorced.

Meanwhile, Tanya married Thaddeus Singleton III, and they had two children, Renée Madison Singleton and Edward Lawrence Jackson Singleton. Tanya’s kids with Jeff were adopted by Thaddeus and they added Singleton to their names.

Tanya Singleton Avoided Jail Time Because of Cancer

Those closest to Aaron Hernandez became key players in his trial for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd. Not only was his fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins, accused of trying to hide the murder weapon, Tanya was accused of helping Hernandez and his accomplices flee.

As Netflix’s documentary shows, Tanya also refused to take the stand and vehemently maintained Hernandez’s innocence. She was charged with criminal contempt for refusing to testify. She would later be indicted on an additional charge of conspiracy to commit accessory after the fact.

Prosecutors also alleged that Tanya aided one of Hernandez’s accomplices, Ernest Wallace, in fleeing the state. Prosecutors claimed in 2015 that Hernandez tried to buy her silence by setting up trust funds for her children that they could access when they come of age. However, Hernandez never set up those accounts for her children.

Tanya pleaded guilty to criminal contempt, a move that would have put her behind bars for two and a half years. However, her medical condition meant she didn’t face jail time.

During the trial, Tanya was a picture of family loyalty, all while battling stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. A judge in 2014 decided not to send her to jail when local authorities said they were ill-equipped to support her cancer treatment.

Instead of prison time, Tanya was sentenced to two years of probation and she had to wear a GPS monitor. She would be confined to her home for the first year unless she had to step out for anything medical related. She was also barred from having any contact with anyone related to Hernandez or Odin Lloyd, except a few relatives.

This is not to say that Tanya avoided jail time completely. By the time she was sentenced to probation, she had spent almost 200 days in police custody until she made bail.

She would also refuse to testify in the 2012 double-homicide case against Hernandez. She was charged with criminal contempt and sentenced to probation a second time.

Thaddeus Singleton Was a Witness in Hernandez’s Trial

Thaddeus, an ex-convict and Tanya’s husband, was named as one of the witnesses expected to testify in Hernandez’s trial. He was a close friend of Hernandez’s accomplices, Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz.

However, he was killed in a June 30, 2013 car crash, mere days after Hernandez was arrested on June 26, 2013.

Another woman, Tabitha Perry, was with him in the car but she survived. She died months later in December 2013. Tabitha and Thaddeus had a child, Julien Perry.

Thaddeus is survived by his two stepchildren, his two children with Tanya, and his child with Perry.

Besides Thaddeus, Jennifer Mercado also testified in the trial. Jennifer and Tanya’s father, Andre Valderrama’s home was searched during the investigation and one of Hernandez’s accomplices, Carlos Ortiz, was arrested from there.

Tanya Singleton Passed Away in 2015

In 2014, Tanya Singleton was sentenced to probation twice, but her deteriorating health led to prosecutors dropping the accessory charge. Doctors told the court that she was no longer responding to aggressive treatments and had been in and out of the hospital by that point.

In the last episode of the Netflix series, it is revealed that Tanya Singleton succumbed to her cancer soon after the case against her was dropped. She reportedly died quietly at home on October 24, 2015.

The whereabouts of Tanya’s children, Tatiana Singleton, Jano Cummings Singleton, Renée Madison Singleton, and Edward Lawrence Jackson Singleton, are unknown. During her incarceration and cancer treatment, Jennifer Mercado cared for them.

Before Hernandez’s suicide on April 19, 2017 in his prison cell, he was aggrieved by Tanya’s passing. Jailhouse phone records detailed on the Netflix show revealed him crying to Shayanna Jenkins about her death in 2015.

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