Aaron Hernandez Found Guilty of Murder

The former NFL tight end was on trial for shooting friend Odin Lloyd in 2013

Photo: Brian Snyder/AP

A jury has found Aaron Hernandez guilty of first-degree murder.

The former New England Patriots star faced murder charges in the killing of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancé, Shayanna Jenkins.

The prosecution alleged that Hernandez and two other men picked up Lloyd at his home during the early morning hours of June 17, 2013. According to testimony, they drove Lloyd to a secluded industrial park, where he was shot six times. Prosecutors alleged that Hernandez orchestrated the murder.

But there were some gaps in the prosecution’s case. They never presented a possible motive for the killing. They had no witnesses to the killing, and the murder weapon has never been found.

The defense claimed that Hernandez merely witnessed the murder, which was committed by someone he knew. Two other men, Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, are also charged with killing Lloyd. They have pleaded not guilty and will be tried separately.

The defense also introduced Hernandez’s drug use in testimony. “Aaron and Odin shared a passion, a passion for marijuana,” defense attorney James Sultan told jurors. “Odin was very skilled at rolling blunts. Why would he kill Odin Lloyd, his bluntmaster?”

Hernandez appeared anxious as he awaited the verdict on Wednesday, CNN reports. It took the jury seven days of deliberation before they ultimately convicted the former football star.

Hernandez looked stunned when the verdict was read. In the gallery, his mother and fiance began to weep. Hernandez turned to them and mouthed, “It’s okay.”

Across the aisle, the mother of Odin Lloyd also wept as she looked up towards heaven.

Under Massachusetts law, Hernandez will be sentenced on the same day as his conviction. He is expected to be sentenced to life in prison.

Hernandez still faces murder charges in the drive-by shootings of two men outside a Boston nightclub in 2012.

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