Criminal Defense Lawyer Wahington DC
On June 17, 2013, the body of 27-year-old semi-pro linebacker Odin Lloyd was found in an industrial park with five gunshot wounds to the back and chest. On June 18, Massachusetts State Police obtained a search warrant to search the home of New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez, who was a friend of Lloyd, after evidence emerged that Hernandez had destroyed his home security system. The location of the industrial park was a mile away from Hernandez’s house in North Attleboro, Mass.
On June 26, 2013, Hernandez was arrested and taken into custody. Less than two hours after the arrest, the Patriots released Hernandez from the team, before officially learning the charges against him. Later that day, Hernandez was charged with first-degree murder for the death of Lloyd, as well as on five gun-related charges. He was held without bail at the Bristol County Jail.
In addition to Hernandez, Carlos Ortiz and Ernest Wallace were also arrested in connection with Lloyd’s death in the following days. Ortiz revealed to police that Hernandez has secretly rented an apartment in Franklin, Mass.
A search of the secret apartment, “turned up ammunition and clothing that police believe could be evidence in the murder case against him,” reported the Associated Press at the time.
The fallen football star was indicted by a grand jury for Lloyd’s murder on Aug. 22, 2013. On Sept. 6, 2013, he pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder at his arraignment and held without bail. On Sept. 27, 2013, Hernandez’s fiancée Shayanna Jenkins was indicted by a grand jury on a perjury charge in connection with Lloyd’s murder.
In January 2015, Hernandez’s murder trial at the Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River, Mass. began and lasted for more than two months. The jury had deliberated for six days before reaching their decision. According to Forbes’ Magazine, the trial had 135 witnesses that stretched over the 10-week trial.
On April 15, 2015, Hernandez was found guilty of first-degree murder and also convicted of the five firearm charges. In Massachusetts, first-degree murder automatically carries a sentence of life in prison without a possibility of parole. Hernandez served out the majority of his sentence at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center, a maximum-security facility in Lancaster, Mass. But his days there were numbered.
On April 19, 2017, at 3:05 a.m., correction officers found Hernandez hanging by his bedsheets in his cell He was pronounced dead at a hospital an hour later. Five days prior to his suicide, Hernandez was acquitted of the 2012 double homicide of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado.
One week after his suicide, lawyers for Hernandez filed a motion at Massachusetts Superior Court to vacate his 2015 murder conviction. The attorney’s request was granted on May 9, 2017, which means that Hernandez technically died an innocent man, due to the common law legal doctrine legal doctrine, abatement ab initio, which, according to Massachusetts law, states that when a criminal defendant dies but has not exhausted all legal appeals, the case reverts to its status at the beginning, therefore, the defendant is rendered back to being “innocent.”
At the time of his death, Hernandez was in the process of filing an appeal for his 2015 conviction.