Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was found guilty Wednesday of first-degree murder for the death of Odin L. Lloyd in June 2013. The verdict carries an automatic sentence of life in prison with no possibility of parole.
The trial lasted nine weeks and 135 witnesses took the stand. The jury took seven days to reach a decision. Hernandez, 25, was found guilty by a jury on all counts, including unlawful weapons and ammunition charges.
Hernandez’s attorney admitted that his client was at the scene of the crime during closing arguments, but he painted him as an innocent bystander.
Hernandez was arrested on June 26, 2013 for shooting Lloyd to death in an industrial park in North Attleborough, Massachusetts. Lloyd, 27, was a semiprofessional football player, and the boyfriend of Shaneah Jenkins, who is the sister of Hernandez's fiancee.
The ex-NFL star has been in prison since he was arrested 22 months ago, and he would’ve remained behind bars even with a not guilty verdict. Hernandez has been charged with a double murder in another case, stemming from a July 2012 shooting in Boston.
The prosecution made their case over two months, detailing how Hernandez killed Lloyd and tried to cover up the murder. Hernandez allegedly drove with Lloyd to the park where he was killed, along with Carlos Ortiz and Ernest Wallace, who have also been charged with first-degree murder in the case. DNA evidence was presented in the trial that proves Hernandez was at the park when Lloyd was shot.
The murder weapon was never found, but surveillance footage from Hernandez’s house shows him holding what appears to be a gun, shortly after Lloyd was killed. The next day, he told fiancée Shayanna Jenkins to dispose of a box, which allegedly contained the gun that was used to kill Lloyd. Jenkins testified that she wasn’t aware of what was in the box, but she faces perjury charges for allegedly lying to a grand jury about her involvement in covering up the murder.