Aaron Hernandez seemed to have it all. In one fell swoop, it’s all gone.
According to ABC News, Hernandez had helped the New England Patriots to a Super Bowl title, and was working under a $40 million contract. He was recently engaged and had a new baby girl. Now, he will sit in prison, pending an appeal, for the rest of his life without the possibility of parole, a mere seven miles from where he used to work.
Hernandez was found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Odin Lloyd, who was dating Hernandez’s fiancee’s sister. After 135 witnesses and 439 exhibits, the jury found Hernandez guilty of other gun-related crimes, as well. The appeal that comes next is automatic, as Massachusetts state law demands an appeal of guilty murder convictions.
Now, the biggest question — the only question — left unanswered: Why would Hernandez do this?
Former teammates, even jurors, were dumbfounded by this whole trial. Jurors simply told reporters that they would have to ask Hernandez himself as to why.
David Nelson, a former University of Florida teammate, said, “That’s not the guy I knew. How could that happen. WHY did that happen?”
Fox Sports is reporting that Hernandez, currently at MCI Ceder Junction Detention center until transferred to Souza-Baranowkis prison in Shirley, Massachusetts, is currently being secluded from other prisoners and under a mandatory suicide watch. This is standard procedure with high-profile prisoners who just received large sentences. Jurors deliberated for 36 hours over six days to reach a verdict.
Lloyd was shot six times in an abandoned industrial park in North Attleborough on June 17, 2013. Keys discovered in Lloyd’s pocket went to a rental car that Hernandez had rented. Hernandez was arrested and almost immediately cut by the Patriots.
Prosecuting attorneys claimed that Hernandez was with Lloyd at the time of his death. Hernandez’s attorney, James Sultan, said that Hernandez was indeed present when Lloyd was killed, but it was two accomplices, Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, who actually shot Lloyd. Wallace and Ortiz are awaiting trial.
A motive was never explained, but the prosecution believed that Lloyd knew of a 2012 shooting that Hernandez will be tried for later. In that instance, Hernandez was apparently upset by a patron who spilled a drink on him. Prosecutors could not offer that in the trial because it was speculation. It is also not sure if or how Lloyd would possess such knowledge.
Still, given what Hernandez had and where he is now, people will always wonder why. Unless Hernandez writes a tell-all and explains the situation, perhaps we will never know.
[Image courtesy of My Fox Boston]