Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez’s murder trial is moving forward, and the next step is going to be the opening statements from both sides. The once promising athlete appeared to have the entire world and his whole life before him, but now, he could lose his freedom and spend the rest of his days behind bars.
Fox Sports reported that prosecutors will make their opening statement this week and look to paint Hernandez as a cold-blooded killer. To win their case, they need the jury to believe that Hernandez orchestrated the shooting death of semiprofessional football player Odin Lloyd.
Jury selection is expected to finish on Monday, while opening statements are tentatively scheduled to start on Tuesday.
In order for opening statements to begin, a panel of 18 jurors must be selected – 12 main jurors and six alternates, per Pro Football Talk. Both the prosecution and the defense are permitted to eliminate or veto 18 possible jurors.
Hernandez is in deep difficulty with his legal troubles as he has two other murder charges hanging over his head aside from that of Odin Lloyd in June of 2013.
The 25-year-old Hernandez is charged with the killing of two men in Boston back in 2012 because of they allegedly disrespected him. One of them spilled a drink on him at a nightclub, and the seemingly minor encounter allegedly set a chain of events in motion that led to the two men’s demise.
The case has yet to go to trial, and Aaron Hernandez has pleaded not guilty.
Hernandez was a fourth-round selection of the New England Patriots in the 2010 NFL Draft. He immediately made an impact with the team as he had 45 receptions for 563 yards and six touchdowns in his rookie season.
During his second year in the NFL, he went up to 79 receptions and 910 yards with seven touchdowns. In the 2012 season, he played in just 10 games, but still had 51 receptions for 483 yards and five touchdowns.
In August of 2012, he signed a five-year extension with the Patriots that included a $12.5 million signing bonus. At the time, it was the largest signing bonus ever given to a tight end in the league.
Hernandez had a very bright future ahead of him in the NFL, and he could have been one of the best tight ends in the game. Now, he’ll have to watch his former team play in the big game from jail.
On Tuesday, lawyers from both sides will make their opening statements, and the murder trial of Aaron Hernandez will begin. The start of the trial will be less than a week before Hernandez’s former team, the New England Patriots, takes the field in Super Bowl XLIX.
[Image via black sports online/patriots.com]