Aaron Hernandez found guilty of first-degree murder
By Kenneth Porter
On April 15th, former NFL tight-end Aaron Hernandez was found guilty on all counts in the 2013 shooting death of his sister’s fiancé, 27-year-old Odin Lloyd. Hernandez, whom had been granted a $40 million contract extension with the New England Patriots in 2013, was also found guilty of two weapons charges and has thus been given a life sentence without parole.
As reported by the New York Daily News and Boston.com, prosecutors insisted that Hernandez “orchestrated” Lloyd’s killing. Footprints and DNA evidence linked Hernandez to the scene of the crime. Additionally, surveillance video that was captured in Hernandez’s home showed him and his co-conspirators leaving and returning to the residence at the same time police believed the crime occurred.
Furthermore, Lloyd had been shot multiple times with a .45 caliber Glock handgun, and although the weapon used in the murder was never recovered, Hernandez was videotaped carrying a weapon that a Glock representative testified as being “similar” to the one used to kill Lloyd.
Although prosecutors never fully outlined a motive for the crime, the evidence was enough for the jury to issue a guilty verdict.
Video of Hernandez’s sentencing has been released online, and it shows the former Pro Bowler standing emotionless as his sentence was read and his mother and sister broke into tears.
The verdict has been a long time coming, and the Lloyd family was relieved with the outcome.
“I forgive the hands that had a hand in my son’s murder, either before or after,” said Ursula Ward, Odin Lloyd’s mother, speaking with Boston.com. “And I pray and hope that someday everyone out there will forgive them also.”
Conviction in the Lloyd case represents only the first step towards restitution of Hernandez’s complex criminal history.
Hernandez is expected to attend at least three more trials: one regarding the shooting deaths of two men in a Boston nightclub 2012; another surrounding a separate drive-by shooting that left two men dead and two injured that occurred later that year; and a third being a lawsuit in which the plaintiff claims to have been shot at by Hernandez whilst chauffeuring his limousine.
Although Massachusetts does not enforce the death penalty, Hernandez could face multiple life sentences if convicted in any of the shooting deaths.
Thus far, none of these trials have been given a firm starting date, but the entire community of NFL fans stands hopeful that justice will be served.
“He needs to be brought to justice,” said Susan Vincinte, cousin of the victim in Hernandez’s second murder trial, speaking with TMZ Sports. “My cousin never had an enemy. He was calm and loving…I’m still a Patriots fan. [Aaron] was just one person.”