Five men and seven women serving as a jury in Fall River, Massachusetts, on Wednesday found Aaron Hernandez, a former tight end with the New England Patriots and Florida Gators, guilty of murder in the first degree.
Hernandez, 25, stood accused of killing Odin Lloyd in an industrial park less than a mile from his North Attleboro, Massachusetts, home. An autopsy revealed that Lloyd was shot six times.
Though there was a mountain of circumstantial evidence connecting Hernandez to the killing, the prosecution was unable to uncover the murder weapon or any DNA evidence to place Hernandez at the scene. The prosecution also struggled to pin a motive to Hernandez, leading many legal experts to believe the result would either be a hung jury, “not guilty” conviction or at least a lesser murder conviction.
Instead, as a result of his first-degree murder conviction, Hernandez will receive a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. He has been ordered to serve that life sentence in Walpole, Massachusetts, which is less than two miles from Gillette Stadium, home of the Patriots.
His lawyers will likely appeal the ruling, which was the result of a three-month trial including more than 130 witnesses, only a handful of which were called by the defense.
Hernandez will also stand trial for two more first-degree murder charges following a shooting he allegedly committed in Boston in 2012.
Hernandez mouthing “you’re wrong” to the jury after the guilty verdict was read.
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