Aaron Hernandez Found Guilty of First-degree Murder

Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Beall, Wikipedia

Nearly four years after being drafted by the New England Patriots, Aaron Hernandez was convicted of first-degree murder in the 2013 shooting death of Odin Lloyd and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole at Bristol Superior Court in Fall River, Mass., according to CNN. 

Hernandez was a tight end for the Patriots for three years. The Patriots selected him in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft, after many teams were hesitant to pick him up. He had a total of 175 receptions, 1,956 yards and 18 touchdowns while playing for the Patriots.

“I think he’s guilty, he took pictures of himself with a gun after the incident and made stupid comments on social media that were incriminating,” said Mike Murphy, a junior, prior to Hernandez’s conviction.

Hernandez, 25, was also found guilty of unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition. Lloyd’s body was found in an industrial park in North Attleboro, Mass., shot several times and discarded near a mound of construction waste, according to CNN.

According to the prosecution, Hernandez and two other men picked up Lloyd from his home before bringing him to an industrial park near Gillette Stadium, where the men shot and killed Lloyd. The jury reached a guilty verdict on Wednesday after nearly 36 hours of deliberation, according to ABCnews.go.com

Hernandez is still facing charges involving a 2012 drive-by shooting that killed two men outside of a Boston nightclub. Prosecutors believe that Hernandez was involved in the incident as well. However, that trial will not start until next year, according to CNN.

Hernandez was arrested on June 26, 2013, nine days after Lloyd was murdered. Hernandez was 23 years old at the time of his arrest. He pled not guilty in the murder of Odin Lloyd.

According to ABC News, Britsol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn said that Hernandez received a fair trial, despite his notability as a professional football player.

“In the end, he was a man who committed a serious murder and was convicted of that with a jury of his peers,” Quinn told ABC.

The Patriots cut him from the team about 90 minutes after he was arrested. Hernandez was reportedly close to signing a contract worth approximately $40 million with the team before he was arrested.

Hernandez made it to the Pro Bowl during his second year on the Patriots. The Patriots are allowing fans to exchange their Hernandez jerseys for jerseys of member of the Patriots.

Two alleged co-conspirators, Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, a couple of small-time drug dealers from Connecticut and friends of Hernandez, were also present at the time of the shooting. Ortiz and Wallace are having separate trials from Hernandez. No murder weapon has been found, according to the Washington Times.