Jury finds Aaron Hernandez Guilty of First-Degree Murder
On Wednesday, a Massachusetts jury found Aaron Hernandez, a former football tight end, guilty of first-degree murder.
The decision by the jury in Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River is considered to be a surprising judgment. The jury said that Hernandez, 25, acted with ‘extreme atrocity or cruelty’ in the incident, which took place in June 2013.
In the incident, semiprofessional football player Odin Lloyd, 27, was shot dead. Lloyd was dating sister of Hernandez's fiancée and was found shot six times in an industrial park. The trial has continued for 76 days.
After hearing the judgment, Hernandez was expressionless. In August 2012, he has signed a five-year contract extension worth $40 million and also, is on his prime of his career.
Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn was of the view that Hernandez might be a known name. “However, in the end, the jury found that he was just a man who committed a brutal murder. The fact that he was a professional athlete meant nothing in the end”, said Quinn.
The news was unwelcoming for the league. Since last season, the league has come under public scrutiny owing to many domestic-abuse incidents involving its players. The NFL and the Patriots have not commented on the jury’s decision.
Hernandez will be facing one more trial as he has been convicted on two weapons charges. The trial will happen later this year. Hernandez's lawyer James Sultan acknowledged that Hernandez was present when Lloyd was killed.
“He was a 23-year-old kid, who witnessed something, a shocking killing committed by someone he knew. He did not know what to do”, affirmed Sultan.
Appeal is pending in the case and Hernandez will spend life imprisonment at Massachusetts Correctional Institute Cedar Junction in Walpole.