Judge Erases Murder Conviction from Aaron Hernandez’s Record

Judge Susan Garsh said the court "has no choice.”

Photo via AP

A judge has abated Aaron Hernandez’s conviction in the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd, following the former Patriots star’s prison suicide last month.

Hernandez’s lawyers urged Bristol County Superior Court Judge Susan Garsh to throw out the first-degree murder conviction, which was awaiting appeal when Hernandez hanged himself inside his cell at Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center. In the past, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has thrown out first-degree murder convictions in cases in which the defendant dies before their appeal can be heard.

Ruling Tuesday morning, Garsh said the court “has no choice” but to erase the convictions from his record, much to the chagrin of prosecutors.

“This is not a defendant who has arrived at the killing of himself by happenstance,” Bristol Assistant District Attorney Patrick Bomberg told Garsh Tuesday. “The defendant should not be able to accomplish in death what he couldn’t accomplish in life.”

Hernandez was convicted in 2015, and was serving a life sentence when he killed himself on April 19.