A Massachusetts grand jury convicted former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez in the slaying of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd in June 2013. Hernandez received a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
Aaron Hernandez will spend the rest of his life in prison.
Hernandez, a former New England Patriots tight end, was convicted on all counts of the June 2013 murder of former semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd, per Boston.com's Nik DeCosta-Klipa.
DeCosta-Klipa stresses the one of the convictions include first-degree murder. His life sentence does not include the possibility of parole.
An April 15 ESPN Boston update describes Hernandez's reaction as the jury read his guilty verdict on Wednesday:
"Hernandez, 25, looked to his right, pursed his lips and sat down after the jury forewoman announced him guilty in the slaying of Odin
Lloyd, a 27-year-old landscaper and semipro football player who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee.
"The conviction carried a mandatory sentence of life without parole and automatically triggered an appeal to Massachusetts' highest court.
"No date for that appeal has been set.
"Hernandez's mother, Terri, and his fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins, cried and gasped when they heard the verdict, and Lloyd's mother also cried. Jenkins wept on his mother's shoulder. Hernandez, his eyes red, mouthed to them: 'Be strong. Be strong.'"
The jury also found Hernandez guilty on firearms and ammunitions charges, per ESPN Boston. It deliberated for a total of 36 hours over a one-week period.
Hernandez will serve his life sentence at MCI-Cedar Junction in Walpole, Mass which is just 1.5 miles from the New England Patriots' Gillette Stadium, per ESPN Boston.
"The jury found that he was a man who committed a brutal murder," District Attorney Thomas Quinn told ESPN Boston on Wednesday.
"The fact that he was a professional athlete meant nothing in the end."
Hernandez's lawyers left the courthouse without speaking to the media, per ESPN Boston.
Lloyd's mother, Urusla Ward, told ESPN Boston she forgives whoever was invovled in her son's murder. His sister, Olivia Thibou, was grateful for the verdict but also labeled Wednesday "an awful, painful day."
Hernandez attorney James Sultan revealed several weeks ago his client was present when Lloyd was murdered. However, Sultan says Hernandez's friends, Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, were the perpetrators, per ESPN Boston.
Sultan told ESPN Hernandez was a "23-year-old kid" who didn't know what to do.
All 12 members of the jury spoke with the media in the aftermath of Hernandez's guilty verdict on April 15. They said Sultan's admission was one of the turning points in the case which weighed heavily on their verdict, per ESPN Boston.
The jury also "found the April 1 testimony by Patriots owner Robert Kraft especially compelling," the ESPN Boston report goes on to say.
Prosecutors surmised Lloyd may have been killed because he had too much inside information on Hernandez's involvement in a 2012 shooting in Boston. According to the ESPN Boston update, the judge deemed it pure speculation so they were not allowed to tell that to the jury.
Because of this, the only motive they linked Hernandez to was him getting angry at Lloyd two nights before that fateful June 2013 murder, per ESPN Boston.
They alleged Hernandez was the mastermind and asked Wallace and Ortiz to help him out. Prosecutors believe Hernandez drove the Lloyd, Wallace and Ortiz to the secluded industrial park near his home and then pulled the trigger. Lloyd suffered six gunshot wounds and died on the spot.
Surveillance footage obtained from Hernandez's house showed him carrying what appeared to be a firearm less than 10 minutes after the murder. The footage also showed Hernandez, Wallace and Ortiz hanging out in his basement and by the pool, per ESPN Boston.
The worst isn't over yet for Hernandez.
The ESPN Boston article says he is still awaiting trial for that 2012 drive-by shooting in Boston. He is the prime suspect in the murder of two men who were gunned down at a traffic light over a spilled drink argument. "He has pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder in that case," per the ESPN Boston report.
Hernandez's teammate with the Florida Gators and New England Patriots Brandon Spikes tweeted (via The Boston Herald), "I'M CONFUSED ABOUT THE JUSTICE SYSTEM THESE DAYS!!!"
Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden, another teammate of Hernandez with the Gators, tweeted (via The Boston Herald), "Praying for (the) Odin Lloyd and Hernandez families! At the end of the day, both families lost sons, and the kids lost their dads!"
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