Aaron Hernandez Found Guilty of Murder
Well, Aaron Hernandez, once a promising young NFL star, a man who once signed a five-year, $40-million contract extension with the New England Patriots, is now officially a convicted murderer.
After a seven-day deliberation, the jury found Hernandez guilty of murdering Odin Lloyd, an acquaintance and amateur football player from Boston who was shot in an industrial park in North Attleborough near the Hernandezes’ home. By Massachusetts law, he faces a mandatory life sentence with no possibility for parole.
The scene was reportedly an emotional one at the Bristol County Courthouse when the verdict was read. Hernandez’s fiancée and the mother of his child Shayanna Jenkins sobbed as Hernandez absorbed the news by shaking his head in disbelief.
Shayanna jenkins is sobbing into #AaronHerandnez mom’s shoulder as the verdicts are read.
— Maria Cramer (@GlobeMCramer) April 15, 2015
It came after third-party experts began circulating doubt that Hernandez would be found guilty. The prosecution faced a challenge in that they had never produced a murder weapon and hadn’t definitively shown Hernandez’s motive for killing Lloyd. After the jury deliberation stretched for days, it became clear the decision was one that required extended consideration.
Still, the prosecution had presented a case based on strong circumstantial evidence, including cell records, texts, and video surveillance footage from Hernandez’s own home. Hernandez could appeal the conviction, but it’s not his only legal trouble. He has also been charged with murdering two men in a drive-by shooting in Boston in July 2012. Prosecutors claim that a man bumped into Hernandez at a nightclub, causing him to spill his drink. Later, outside the club, they say, Hernandez and his associates approached the man’s car and shot him and his friend through the window. He’ll face trial later this year.
He’ll do so though, with one life sentence already on his shoulders. The public has known Hernandez as a suspected murderer for over a year now. And yet, an official guilty verdict once again seemed to make stark just how far this guy had fallen, and from such an exalted place. Boston Globe NFL writer Ben Volin, for instance, tweeted:
Can’t believe the 18-year-old kid and star tight end I covered at Florida is now going to jail for the rest of his life — Ben Volin (@BenVolin) April 15, 2015
Hernandez, from the looks of it, couldn’t quite believe it either. Now he’ll have a lifetime to consider how he got to this point.