Shayanna Jenkins, the fiancée of convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez, sobbed when she heard the guilty verdict Wednesday in a Massachusetts court. The former New England Patriots star was convicted of first-degree murder for the death of semiprofessional football player Odin Lloyd in June 2013.
When the verdict was read, Hernandez, 25, looked over to his fiancée and mouthed, “Be strong. Be strong,” ESPN reporter Michele Steele tweeted. Before the decision, the former athlete strutted into the courtroom with a “defiant” look.
As I reported on @SportsCenter, Hernandez walked in to sentencing w the same kind of defiant look on his face he had when he was arrested
— Michele Steele (@ESPNMichele) April 15, 2015
For some quick background, Jenkins’ sister Shaneah had dated Lloyd. In the courtroom, the sisters were divided, sitting on opposite sides of the courtroom. But before Lloyd's death, they apparently used to share a close bond, the U.K.’s Daily Mail reported.
Both women took the stand. When Shayanna was asked about her relationship with Hernandez, she admitted he cheated on her. She found out about his “infidelity” when she looked “through his phone.”
The two had an “understanding” about their relationship when they got back together. “I made a decision that if I was going to move back in with Aaron that I would have to compromise on his behavior, and that included infidelity and everything that came along with it,” she said. “I decided that it was worth fighting for, so I moved back.” The day after Lloyd was killed, Jenkins testified she threw away a box for Hernandez, TMZ reported. She claimed she did not know what was inside the box and did not look inside. The murder weapon was never found, and it's thought by some that the box contained the gun.
No motive was ever established for why Hernandez shot and killed Lloyd. He was sentenced to spend the rest of his “natural born life” behind bars, and his career as a pro athlete did not affect his sentence. "The jury found that he was just a man who committed a brutal murder," District Attorney Thomas Quinn said, the Associated Press reports. "The fact that he was a professional athlete meant nothing in the end."
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