Life Without Parole For Aaron Hernandez, Victim Lloyd Odin’s Family Offers Forgiveness

Life without parole was the sentence doled out Wednesday to NFL star Aaron Hernandez for the murder of Odin Lloyd.

After learning that the murderer of their loved one had been sentenced to life without parole, Odin Lloyd’s family thanked people from around the world who supported them by sending cards and flowers and reaching out on social media.

Odin Lloyd’s sister, Olivia Thibou, said Wednesday that prosecutors in the murder trial were her “dream team,” according to the Associated Press.

The family spoke not long after Hernandez was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life without parole for the 2013 shooting death of Lloyd.

Lloyd’s mother, Ursula Ward, said life without parole gave her peace and will allow her to move on, according to CNN.

“Odin was my only son. Odin was the man of the house. Odin was his sisters’ keeper. After my daughter Olivia had her daughter, Odin became her keeper, too. I thank God every second for every day I spent with my son. The day I laid my son Odin to rest, I think my heart stopped beating for a moment. I felt like I wanted to go in that hole with my son Odin. Just like God has left his footprint in the sand, my baby’s footprint is in my heart forever.”

District Attorney Thomas Quinn said justice had been served with Hernandez’ sentence of life without parole and praised the jury in their ability to see the crime for what it was and remain blind to the former NFL player’s fame and wealth.

“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.”

Ursula Ward, on behalf of her family, said they forgive Hernandez, who received his sentence of life without parole after being found guilty of first-degree murder, unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition.

“I forgive the hands of the people that had a hand in my son’s murder, either before or after. And I pray and hope that someday, everyone up there will forgive them also.”

District Attorney Thomas Quinn reiterated the family’s sentiments.

“As difficult as it is for people in the end, forgiveness is what it’s about, if people can bring themselves to that point.”

Hernandez will serve his sentence of life without parole in the Massachusetts Correctional Institution-Cedar Junction, which is less than four miles from the home of the New England Patriots, Gillette Stadium.

What do you think of Aaron Hernandez’ sentence of life without parole?

[Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images]